21 Oct 2014

Govt aiming to tempt ex-pats home

4:12 pm on 21 October 2014

The Government is planning a series of job fairs in Australia to recruit skilled expatriate New Zealanders.

Minister for Skills and Employment Steven Joyce said the fairs would be held in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to help employers find staff.

Steven Joyce  during a press conference regarding Novopay next steps.

Steven Joyce Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Mr Joyce said work would be offered in areas where there were skill shortages.

"We have some emerging skill shortages in the New Zealand economy and yes, we're training lots of people in ICT and engineering, but actually some of these companies are very fast-growing and they need more opportunities,' he said.

"With the New Zealand economy going better, there might be people who are prepared to say 'actually, this is a good time to come home'."

The fairs will cost several hundred thousand dollars to hold, Mr Joyce said.

Record immigration levels

The announcement comes as New Zealand recorded its highest-ever number of immigrants - more than 105,500 - in the 12 months to September.

The increase is in part due to more New Zealand citizens coming back from Australia, as well as more students, particularly from India.

The net loss of 6000 people to Australia was the smallest since 1994.

Taking into account people departing New Zealand, there was a record net gain this year of more than 45,000 people.

Massey University pro-Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Spoonley, said that far exceeded Treasury predictions.

"If the current figures continue to go the way they are trending, then it might well go very close to 50,000.

"And that again is a very unusual situation for New Zealand."

He said the increase was partly due to the arrival of immigrants who delayed their plans because of the global financial crisis.