Influx of Skilled Workers from the Philippines Continues to Surge

Over the past 25 months, Immigration NZ has received over 32,000 applications for working visas from overseas skilled workers across many industries – around 1300 per month average. Of these applications, 85% are successful!

More than one in every ten of these applications has been from the Philippines – where work ethic standards and skills are high but job availability is low. Of all visa applicants from the Philippines, 15% applied for visas to work in the NZ Construction industry. None were declined.

The Philippines has become a go-to resource for skilled labour across the world – and New Zealand, as a dream destination for the workers, is viewed very favourably by the overseas employment approval agencies.

RecruitNZ is focusing specifically on bringing skilled workers from the Philippines to the New Zealand Construction Industry

Bricklayers, carpenters, joiners, painters, floorers, roofers, plasterers, glaziers and even a handful of plumbers were issued visas and are now working in New Zealand – helping grow our economy and literally changing the shape and face of our country.

We have Filipino job seekers contact us daily looking for work in New Zealand and we list some of their profiles on our website.

So, outside of gaining a working visa – which is a structured and regulated process managed by authorised recruitment agencies, what else do New Zealand employers in the Construction Industry need to be aware of?

Here’s a working guide of the main things our International Recruitment team work through with employers wanting to recruit from the Philippines:
  • Follow the same recruitment process as you would with a New Zealander. You are required to advertise the position within New Zealand before an overseas worker will be considered.
  • You must have an Individual Employment Contract and NZ Employment laws apply, with the exception that a minimum of 30 paid hours must be provided for the duration of the contract.
  • Consider the skill analysis that you require and whether or not NZ certification will be required (most skilled workers with 3 or more years experience can transfer across a certification but not always a qualification).
  • Consider whether you require one or more workers, as there is a cost efficiency in recruiting a team in one recruitment drive.
  • Consider if you will need to make the employment contract conditional on a contract or tender being won.
  • Consider if you can accommodate the new employee on arrival (this is a requirement for a minimum period).
  • Make sure you can provide transport to and from the work place for your new employee(s).
  • Consider carefully the duration of the employment, as these contracts cannot be terminated if your work flow dwindles.

Employers for overseas workers have the same if not more responsibility for overseas workers – inclusive of helping them settle in to life in New Zealand.
You will find that the rewards for this additional care and attention will be significant, as the Filipino culture fits well here in New Zealand and your employees will be both respectful and hard working.

For more information on any aspect of recruitment from overseas – including tender resource planning and preparation, please contact our International team.

Contact us to find out how we can help your business.

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Tanya Gray is your strategic HR partner, passionate about driving clients’ productivity with innovative solutions and collaboration.

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