As we build momentum in the reconstruction of Christchurch, newcomers to our city are going to provide essential capacity to accelerate the rebuild.
It is worth noting that:
- Migration to Canterbury is higher than ever before, with over 7000 temporary work visas approved for work in Canterbury in 2012/2013.
- The Canterbury Skills and Employment Hub was set up to ensure that local labour is utilised before employers recruit from offshore. Businesses must show that there are no semi-skilled local workers available for a vacancy before hiring staff from another country.
- For employers seeking skilled staff (such as construction project managers, surveyors and roading project managers) DO NOT need to demonstrate that local labour is unavailable and can recruit directly from offshore.
- Canterbury employers who employ skilled newcomers are providing a wider range of support for their settlement into life in Christchurch, such as assistance with housing, transportation, work clothing and tools, and information about schools, recreational activities and other local services.
- While the housing market is stretched, it is nonetheless able to accommodate, at this stage, the variety of housing options required - such as family housing, workers' accommodation and short-term housing.
- We as Cantabrians need to be welcoming to the newcomers who are serving an important role in providing the labour required for the rebuild, now and over the next five to ten years.
- Rebuild-relatet migration will change the demographics of Christchurch forever. Currently 80% of Cantabrians were born in NZ (compared to 59% in Auckland and 71% in Wellington) but we are now seeing a dramatic shift to a more multi-cultural city.
- Our Settlement Support Christchurch programmed is an Immigration New Zealand service delivered by CECC. It provides free information, support and advice to employers of migrants and their new migrant staff. Make sure you contact Lana Hart - firstname.lastname@example.org - if you employ, or are intending to employ migrant staff.