Do I stay or do I go now?
– Additional reporting by Tracy Watkins
Stuff NZ Newspapers
Government’s drive for economic productivity and business growth. Employment, Skills and Immigration policy director, Karl Woodhead says pre-pandemic, New Zealand had very high and growing immigration levels, particularly in lower skilled temporary migrant workers, with the highest labour share of temporary visa holders in the OECD. ‘‘This growth was not sustainable, and has exacerbated infrastructure pressures. ‘‘Low-skill migrant labour has contributed to growth in the New Zealand economy over recent years. ‘‘However, this has meant productivity rates have lagged.’’ New Zealand now has the chance to shift towards a higherskilled migrant work force, Woodhead says. Not everyone is convinced the grass is greener overseas, meanwhile. Painting apprentice Alicia Moynihan says the lure of higher wages for painters in Australia isn’t enough to make her cross the Ditch. The 31-year-old has almost finished her painting and decorating apprenticeship with CC Paint in Blenheim, through the Building and Construction Industry Training Organisation (BCITO). Moynihan says she feels loyalty to CC Paint due to how well they have treated her during her apprenticeship. The company has provided her training, which is subsidised through the Government, and paid for the cost of her accommodation when she had to travel out of town. ‘‘If you’re well looked after where you are, you have no reason to want to leave.’’