Essential skills in demand list review 2013 – Immigration News

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has completed its annual review of two of the Essential Skills in Demand Lists – the Long Term Skill Shortage List and the Immediate Skill Shortage List. Changes will be made to these lists at the beginning of March 2014.

Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL)

The LTSSL identifies occupations that have an absolute (sustained and ongoing) shortage of skilled workers both globally and throughout New Zealand. Migrants who gain employment in one of these occupations may be granted a work visa under the LTSSL Work to Residence or Essential Skills instructions. Migrants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category may gain bonus points towards their application if they have an offer of employment, work experience or qualifications in an area of absolute skill shortage identified on the LTSSL.

The occupations which will be removed from the LTSSL are:

  • Audiologist
  • Dietitian
  • Hospital Pharmacist
  • Industrial Pharmacist
  • Internal Auditor
  • Medical Diagnostic Radiographer
  • Midwife
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Osteopath
  • Retail Pharmacist
  • Conductive Education Practitioner
  • Specialist Manager not elsewhere classified
  • Speech Language Therapist
  • Urban and Regional Planner

A submission to add Bakery Manager to the LTSSL was declined.

Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL)

The ISSL identifies occupations that have an immediate shortage of skilled workers either throughout New Zealand or in certain regions. Migrants wishing to work in occupations on the ISSL may be granted work visas under Essential Skills instructions if they meet the specified qualifications and/or experience requirements.

One occupation will be added to the ISSL:
Registered Nurse (Mental Health)

The occupations which will be removed from the ISSL are:
Dispensing Optician
Internal Auditor

Submissions to add occupations to the ISSL were declined for Aeroplane Pilot, Fitter and Turner, and Metal Fabricator.

Three occupations that were reviewed last year and were scheduled to be removed from the ISSL with a year’s notice will take effect at the same time. These occupations are Truck Driver (General), Café and Restaurant Manager, and Motor Mechanic (General) (Automotive Technician).

Timing of Changes

The ESID changes will take effect from the beginning of March 2014. Further work is currently being carried out to review the requirements which migrants need to satisfy to apply for a work visa or a residence visa using the skill shortage lists. This includes a review of qualifications in association with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and more precise specification of registration requirements for occupations where a migrant needs to be registered.

Other Immigration Options

Removal from a skill shortage list does not mean that migrants cannot come to New Zealand. There are other immigration options that may be appropriate where an employer cannot find suitable New Zealanders for a position. These include:

  • Essential Skills work visa policy (subject to an employer demonstrating that they have tried to recruit New Zealanders for the position and been unsuccessful)
  • Accredited Employer – facilitating recruitment of skilled workers from overseas where the salary is at least NZ$55,000 per annum. This option provides a pathway to residence.
  • Approval in Principle – where a number of migrants are being sought
  • Skilled Migrant Category – under which migrants can apply for residence in New Zealand.

In addition the Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub can facilitate employment of New Zealanders in Canterbury, and if there are no suitable applicants, can facilitate visa applications for migrant workers. Also, the Canterbury Skill Shortage List contains some occupations in shortage for the Canterbury rebuild (in addition those on the ISSL and LTSSL).

Other Matters

The Essential Skills in Demand Lists are reviewed and updated regularly in order to ensure that the Ministry’s policy is flexible and responsive to changing economic and labour market conditions. As part of reviews, information is gathered from submissions made by external stakeholders and this is considered alongside economic, labour market and immigration data. It is important that the lists reflect genuine skill shortages so New Zealanders are not disadvantaged in seeking employment and training.

You can test whether an occupation is on any of the three shortage lists or on the list of occupations recognised for residence applications under the Skilled Migrant Category by using the skill shortage list checker. This provides information and the requirements for each of the lists.

We expect the next review to commence in April 2014.



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