Seeking a new lifestyle and more favourable work opportunities in varied employment sectors, families from South Africa are increasingly putting New Zealand at the top of their list of potential destinations. The popular Oceanic nation is continuing to welcome skilled migrants from overseas, due to a constant demand fuelled by the need to expand an ever growing workforce.
According to recent statistics published at BusinessTech, more skilled South Africans are getting residency in New Zealand, as travel restrictions due to the Covid pandemic are relaxed. In March 2022 alone, some 1,580 people from South Africa gained New Zealand residency visas, which is almost three times the number compared to pre-pandemic years.
Most of the South African migrants are entering New Zealand on residence and work visas, although there has also been a significant increase in student visas, many of whom are increasingly deciding to stay once their studies are completed. The biggest attraction for many is that New Zealand is considered to be safe, child-friendly, and offers plenty of employment opportunities.
Nevertheless, the government of New Zealand is also keen to strike a suitable balance, having recognised a disconnect between immigration policy and other policy areas in the country. This has apparently led to a shortfall in the flow of public infrastructure, with further investment required to meet the demands of a rapidly growing population, largely fuelled by welcoming increased numbers of migrants and fewer New Zealanders leaving the country.
The New Zealand Productivity Commission believes the current immigration system is highly adaptive, capable of shifting focus to meet emerging needs and employment opportunities, which cannot be sufficiently met within the existing populace. However, there is a recognition that the system needs to be improved, which the government seeks to address by providing a more transparent and efficient visa process.
One of the proposals under consideration is a change to current work visa conditions, which have traditionally tied migrant workers to specific employers, prior to the granting of visas. Under such plans the government hopes to eliminate the potential risk of exploitation, while at the same time, assisting migrants in finding employment better suited to their skills, experience, and professional qualifications.
Steps have already been taken to improve the migration process, via the official New Zealand government immigration system website, aimed at ensuring the process of getting a work or residence visa may be easier. Practically speaking, this highlights occupations featured in the long term and regional skill shortage lists, along with the construction and infrastructure shortage lists, making the process of gaining an initial ‘Essential Skills’ visa much easier.
Amongst the greatest demand at present is employment within the digital technologies sector, which is thriving at present and growing at nearly twice the rate of the general economy. In 2019 alone, export numbers for the sector indicated a contribution of $6.6 billion to the economy, while there is also an increased need for improved infrastructure within the country itself, granting further opportunities for employment.
In February 2022, the Digital Economy and Communications Minister, David Clark, announced important plans meet the growing demand for highly skilled and specialised workers. “The industry has made it clear that in order for the sector to grow, it needs to be able to access the right people,” he explained. “We’re honing in on areas including software development, product managers, cyber security and interactive media.”
Interestingly, interactive media and digital entertainment opportunities are attracting many skilled African migrants to New Zealand. One key contributor has been the growth in sports betting and online casino gaming, although at present, online gambling companies are prohibited from setting up inside New Zealand. This could soon change, as the government seeks to develop a safe and regulated online gambling system, within the country itself.
Right now, while sports betting and online casino gambling are entirely legal, the only providers are companies based overseas. To find the best casino bonus in New Zealand in 2022, Casino Reviews has compiled an extensive list of recommended sites, all of which are located overseas. That being said, online casinos must also meet stringent criteria for safety and security in order to feature on this list, meaning they must be licensed with recognised international gambling regulators.
Looking ahead, should New Zealand approve new gambling laws over the coming months, there will inevitably be an increased need for industry professionals in this particular sub-sector of digital entertainment. Skilled workers from African countries will undoubtedly be paying close attention to upcoming developments, due to the sector already providing them with opportunities throughout Europe and North America, although New Zealand could soon be providing them with an alternative destination.