Over 1700 foreign workers given jobs on quake rebuild

8:47 am on 15 November 2013

Government figures show more than 1700 foreign workers are in Canterbury to help with the rebuild.

Since July 2011, 1719 people have been granted work visas for the Canterbury rebuild, of whom 748 were from the Philippines and the rest mostly from Britain and Ireland.

Leighs Construction managing director Anthony Leighs says almost half his company's 166 staff are from overseas and that will increase as the rebuild ramps up.

The Government isn't worried about the perception of New Zealanders being beaten to jobs after changes this year to the visa system.

It is requiring employers to register vacancies for trades, clerical and manual occupations with the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub before they support someone overseas applying for a visa.