30 Apr 2009

NZers' hopes of getting good job in Britain reduced

9:37 pm on 30 April 2009

New Zealanders wanting to work in Britain face cuts to the number of skilled jobs open to them under plans to curb local unemployment levels.

The UK government has been advised to remove nearly 300,000 skilled jobs from the list of positions open to workers from outside the European Union.

Its Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) says more than 100,000 skilled construction jobs, including managers and quantity surveyors, on large property projects should immediately be closed to foreign applicants.

Social workers involved in adult care are also set to be removed from the official shortage occupation list.

But advisers say orchestra musicians, high-level contemporary dancers and special-effects animators for film and video should be added to the list of shortage skilled occupations so more overseas staff can be recruited.

MAC chairman David Metcalf said the new shortage list took account of the impact of the global recession on Britain, cutting the number of jobs open to skilled workers from outside the EU from 800,000 to 530,000.

"We have looked critically at the evidence regarding the occupations under review and made recommendations which balance the needs of the UK workforce against those of employers," Professor Metcalf said.

Home secretary Jacqui Smith was expected to implement the recommendations, which form part of the new points-based immigration system.