David Thompson Posted:
So very, very true. It beggars belief that we consider ourselves to be a developed nation when so much of our economy is based on selling milk powder or logs. BTW, I own a Plinius amplifier (my second) that drives a set of Theophany speakers.
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David Thompson Posted:
A robust but sobering report. It concerns me that confidence is rising, yet sales and exports are down and "manufacturers and exporters are still lagging behind other sectors". Surely we should wait until we're earning more money before we start spending more?
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siemens Posted:
Yes true! The only thing that will never die in this world is the nature and its science behind it. Great post.
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Kieran Ormandy Posted:
Thanks for the question Steven, Germany has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2009, and Switzerland has had stable manufacturing employment between 2006 – 2011, even in the face of ongoing Euro-zone issues. Korea has seen increases in manufacturing employment since 2008 and Israel experienced large increases since 1998, while being stable over the last 4 years. Singapore has had increases in manufacturing employment over the last two years. These countries all value their manufacturing sectors and work to protect them, this is reflected in the above numbers and their performance through the GFC. Note data around the above examples was sourced from OECD labour market stats.
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John Walley Posted:
Point one: you should have no doubt what our Association says publically represent the views of our members. Point two: we don’t knee jerk responses, if you trace back our comments around NZPower you will see them link all the way back to our research in 2004 and 2005. All that material is fully linked from our comments above. Point three: you will note our comments on major users, sadly the same advantage does not accrue to smaller industrial users. The perverse incentives of the LRMC approach in all this are well known. Point four: the NZMEA is not like any other Association in New Zealand we admit only manufacturers and exporters into membership, and our public expressions are the views of that restricted membership.
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Right Move in the Wrong Direction

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The Government is right to make adjustments to our immigration system in response to high numbers causing housing and infrastructure pressures. However, the focus on skilled migrants may add pressure on manufacturers and exporters who are already finding it hard to get skilled staff they need to grow, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA).

NZMEA Chief Executive Dieter Adam says, “Government has finally acknowledged that the mismatch between net inward migration and infrastructure development - housing first and foremost - particularly in Auckland.

“Unfortunately, the changes introduced constitute a significant lift in barriers for skilled migrants, while leaving other migrant categories largely unchanged.

“New Zealand businesses, right across all sectors, are increasingly held back from growing by a lack of highly skilled workers. The reasons behind this are complex, including a tertiary education policy that is not meeting our skills needs, and immigration alone cannot be the whole answer, now or in the long term.

“In the short term, however, allowing employers to find highly skilled staff abroad that are simply not available domestically, is important for the future economic development of New Zealand. Highly skilled workers means people capable of operating complex, computer controlled machinery in the manufacturing sector, for example. The government claims that the changes it introduced yesterday “will prioritise access for higher-skilled SMC migrants …” – Given the Government’s sketchy track record to date in managing the skilled migrant scheme to match what the economy most urgently needs, it remains to be seen whether that will actually be the case.

“We believe our immigration system is leaky at a different point, people coming in on a student visa and then being allowed to seek employment when they have completed their studies, which can be after as little as one year.

“New Zealand approved visas for around 85,000 overseas students in 2015, and it would be interesting to see how many of these are able to gain employment at the end of their studies. There are reports that 50% of all skilled migrant visa applications these days come from foreign students. These students may be highly skilled in their subject of study, but often have few of the skills and experience industry needs and as a consequence end up in low-skills jobs in retail or tourism, for example.

“We would also like to see a more in-depth review on how our immigration system can best serve New Zealand over-time and provide skilled people to fill skill gaps industry face now, and into the future." Says Dieter. 

tags: skills, education, labour, manufacturing, exports, tertiary, government


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