New Zealanders continue to migrate to Australia which offers better income opportunities to migrants. The New Zealand Herald reports that in the past 12 months to June 2012, the number of Kiwi migrants hit a record-high of 53,763 people.
Besides the growing number, one trend noticed by observers is that a growing number of the economic migrants are technicians and trade workers who comprise 9 per cent. Professionals made up 11 per cent of the emigrants to Australia.
When reckoned according to age, the trends indicate that the bulk of the migrants come from the 20 to 29 age group of whom 14.4 per cent are technicians and trade workers. This disturbing trend signals a skills crisis and spells a potential disaster for the country, New Zealand Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson said.
"The government's lack of investment in apprenticeships or other skills training programmes is exposing the gap being left in the economy - along with the absence of a coherent economic plan, it's a fatal combination," Perth Now quoted Mr Robertson.
The change in the nature of migrants represents a turnaround from a decade ago when it was more of professionals than skilled workers who were leaving for Australia in pursuit of the greener pasture. Observers said the change indicates that New Zealand is headed for a trades drain.
Louisa Jones, spokeswoman of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union (EPMU), explained the exodus of Kiwis to the impact of the 2008 global financial crisis on the manufacturing sector, the strong New Zealand dollar which had affected exporters and the mining boom in Australia which attracted trades workers from New Zealand.
However, a spokesman for New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said gaining overseas experience was a tradition among young Kiwis.
"Going overseas means people can learn new skills and have new experiences. We want those New Zealanders to bring their skills home too. That's why the government is working hard to build a more competitive economy based on exports and higher savings, helping create sustainable, higher-paying jobs," New Zealand Herald quoted the government spokeswoman.
Employment Minister Steven Joyce denied that is a jobs crisis in New Zealand and insisted that the national economy is doing well and jobs are being created across all sectors.
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