These are not skilled jobs, unemployed New Zealanders should be filling them

At the end of a pro-immigrant article that characterised New Zealand’s immigration policy as ” Fortress New Zealand” it listed jobs that employers this year filled with immigrants because they said they couldn’t find Kiwis to do the job.

I expected them to be all skilled jobs but they weren’t. In fact, many were jobs that Work and Income should be helping unemployed people into.

Instead of granting work visas to immigrants to fill checkout operator positions why doesn’t Work and Income offer Supermarkets an unemployed Kiwi’s dole towards their wages in return for training them and giving them a trial?

Fast food cooks can be trained. Work and Income could make training a part of the requirement for the dole. Why don’t they offer people on the dole work experience where if they take part and fulfil certain criteria they get paid more than the dole. Train them to be laundry workers or baristas. A training course to be a Barista is under $300. Anyone can learn to make coffee surely?

Wellington council wants to subsidise people’s rent to make homes affordable. Why can’t work and income subsidise people’s wages while they are learning on the job to encourage employers to train them and give them a go? Why can’t we invest in Kiwis instead of relying on unskilled labour from overseas?


This year, immigrants have been granted work visas to fill these jobs, because employers said they were unable to find suitable Kiwis.

* 5 bungy jump masters
* 2 barristers
* 101 baristas
* 25 checkout operators
* 295 housekeepers
* 128 fast food cooks
* 45 laundry workers
* 4 judges
* 1 parking inspector
* 5 sculptors
* 1 streetsweeper operator
* 4 tow truck drivers

 – Sunday Star Times

The other side of the equation is that some employers say that Kiwis are simply not willing to do these low-skilled jobs or do them poorly. One business owner I spoke to yesterday told me that Kiwi workers accept the position and a week or two down the track tell her that the job is not what they expected and that it is too hard and their back hurts. Immigrant workers, she tells me are hard working and do a good job. They are not of afraid of a little physical work.

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