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March 2015

NZ Minister Delighted With Increasing Skilled Migration Figures

Published: Thursday 12 March 2015

New Zealand’s Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has welcomed new figures which show that an increasing number of skilled migrants are arriving to live in the country. The 14th annual Migration Trends and Outlook report, released today, shows that the number of Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) residence approvals increased by 12 per cent in the 2013/14 financial year having recorded decreases for the previous four years. More than 20,000 people were approved residence under the SMC last year while there was also an 18 per cent increase in the number of Essential Skills workers – the second consecutive increase since the start of the global financial crisis. “These figures clearly show that New Zealand is a favoured destination for skilled migrants and that the Government’s policies are attracting the right people here,” Mr Woodhouse says. “The figures suggest that New Zealand’s economic outlook is strong with the Canterbury rebuild bolstering the underlying recovery.” The Minister continued: “It is also encouraging to see a 15 per cent increase in the number of international students approved to study in New Zealand. This is a big boost for the international education industry. In 2014, international education contributed NZ$2.85 billion to the New Zealand economy. It is our fifth largest export industry and supports more than 30,000 jobs. The Migration Trends Key Indicators report – December 2014, also published today, also shows that the increase in skilled migrants and international students is continuing. The number of SMC approvals between July and December last year was up 6 per cent from the same period in 2013 while there was a 9 per cent rise in the number of Essential Skills workers approved. The number of international students approved to study was up 22 per cent. “New Zealand is in an extremely competitive international market and these two reports show that more people are choosing to come here and take advantage of the country’s booming economy and everything we have to offer,” Mr Woodhouse says.