Migrants causing unemployment – Salvation Army say yes PM says no


The Salvation Army says there is persistent unemployment in the  15- to 24-year-old age group and this is related to immigration.

It says as a country we need to have a rational and open debate around the role of immigration in New Zealand’s future.

In a report, What Next, released this week;the Salvation Army suggests Government and some industries see immigration as an easy-fix to skill shortages, rather than tipping the balance in favour of upskilling young New Zealanders.

Prime Minister John Key has rejected criticism.

He told Parliament the growing economy had cut the number of 15 to 19-year-olds not in employment, education or training (NEETs).

“The NEET rate for 15 to 19-year-olds is almost the lowest since records began in 2004.”

“A huge number of young New Zealanders are in apprenticeships the economy is creating a huge number of jobs and opportunities”

“I think migration of people to New Zealand is a positive and good thing,” Key said.

Report author is Alan Johnson, senior policy analyst with The Salvation Army’s Social Policy and Parliamentary Unit.

He says, “Continuing to import labour as an easy, short-term solution avoids the broader society-wide issues of what to do about the skills deficit of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders and of catering for the needs of migrants.”

The report suggests local industries should be required to plan for the inclusion of more young New Zealanders into their sector.

They should be required to demonstrate a tangible commitment to this before a relaxation of migration policies is considered to meet labour needs.


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