19 Dec 2008

Union criticises bank for recruiting overseas staff

7:39 am on 19 December 2008

ANZ National Bank's decision to continue recruiting overseas workers is being criticised by the banking union, Finsec.

The bank accuses the union of scaremongering, saying it uses an accreditation scheme for these workers as a last resort.

Under the scheme, employers who cannot find enough workers in New Zealand can apply for accreditation with the Department of Labour, so they can fast track the appointment of people from overseas.

Finsec campaign director Andrew Campbell said the bank's decision follows 900 job losses and it should looking for skilled locals, or retraining local people to fill jobs.

ANZ National Bank said while it prefers to employ staff locally, the people it needs are highly skilled and cannot be found in New Zealand.

Skills shortage

A company which recruits engineers is defending the Department of Labour scheme.

Engineer Recruiters director Sue Glover said the scheme is vital for attracting workers whose skills are in demand.

She said while many engineers are being trained in New Zealand, there is a shortage of skilled engineers with five or more years experience, so they have to be recruited from other countries.

Ms Glover said the majority of the 30 engineers it has recruited this year were recruited under the scheme.