West Auckland business resorts to using 'hiring now' banner

Douglas Pharmaceutical has had this sign up since July.
TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

Douglas Pharmaceutical has had this sign up since July.

New Zealand's largest drug developer and manufacturer is struggling to fill vacancies.

Douglas Pharmaceuticals in Auckland had 15 job openings, including chemical, packing and analytical operators.

For the first time in its 50 year history, the Henderson business had to resort to extreme measures such as putting up a 'hiring now' banner on its fence.

Douglas Pharmaceutical managing director Jeff Douglas.
TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

Douglas Pharmaceutical managing director Jeff Douglas.

The company's struggle to find skilled workers comes as New Zealand's immigration policy is debated.

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NZ First leader Winston Peters wants to cut the number of people coming into the country - with their policy likely to be part of coalition negotiations.

Douglas Pharmaceutical is New Zealand's largest drug manufacturer and west Auckland's biggest employer.
TORIKA TOKALAU/STUFF

Douglas Pharmaceutical is New Zealand's largest drug manufacturer and west Auckland's biggest employer.

Douglas Pharmaceuticals was the largest employer in west Auckland with more than 500 employees.

Managing director Jeff Douglas said people were applying for the positions, but they just weren't making the cut.

"We are not getting enough suitable applications," Douglas said.

The 'hiring now' banner had been up since July.

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If the company couldn't find suitable Kiwi candidates, it might have to look overseas.

"I really hope that the next Government does not cut down on immigration."

Hiring people from overseas would mean relocating them to New Zealand, he said. 

This would become tougher if stricter measures were placed on immigration by the new Government.

As it was, several changes to New Zealand's immigration system was announced in April for the skilled migrant category.

It was aimed at tackling the number and quality of immigrants coming to work.

Some of the changes included a points-based system for people who wanted to work and live in NZ indefinitely, remuneration thresholds and bonus points for qualification and work experience.

Last year Douglas Pharmaceuticals generated $189 million of sales and this year, it was targeting a hefty $230m of profit.

 - Stuff

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