Warning on skills shortage

The Government has tightened the screws on skilled migration, aggravating the nation's skills shortage for political reasons, an Auckland immigration consultant says.

Immagine managing partner Iain MacLeod said the lack of skills would bite soon and affect the speed of Christchurch's rebuild. A bidding war for tradesmen could push up the cost of work for homeowners.

Immigration NZ statistics show the number of skilled migrants has been falling since 2009. In the latest full financial year, 18,843 skilled migrants were approved, compared with 27,011 in 2008/09.

Newly appointed Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said New Zealand welcomed foreigners who could fill skill shortages.

Fairfax Media