Overhaul of Skills Match Report process set to be implemented from 7 October 2020
The Government has announced an overhaul of the Skills Match Report process, which will have a direct impact on which Essential Skills work visa applications will require Skills Match Reports. These changes are set to take effect from 7 October 2020 and will impact any applications submitted on or after this date.
At present, any job offer with an hourly rate below the national median wage (currently $25.50 per hour) requires a Skills Match Report from Work and Income, along with advertising on a national website. In response to the effects of COVID-19 on the New Zealand labour market, the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) has created lists of occupations and regions where there is a clear oversupply or undersupply of New Zealanders on Job Seeker Support.
While the oversupply and undersupply lists are a temporary measure (it is expected that the lists will be reviewed in early 2021, or sooner if there is a significant change) this will have a significant impact on applications where the occupation and region is on the oversupply list. For those applications where the occupation and region are on the undersupply list, the process will be more streamlined.
Employers will therefore need to accurately match the job being offered to the ANZSCO occupation, and then consider whether the job is on the oversupply or undersupply lists.
Undersupply of New Zealand job seekers
From 7 October, for occupations and regions where there is an undersupply of New Zealand job seekers employers will no longer need a Skills Match Report for roles paying below the national median wage. Evidence of advertising on a national website will still be required. For applications submitted before 7 October 2020, Skills Match Reports will still need to be considered as part of the assessment of the application.
Oversupply of New Zealand job seekers
Conversely, for occupations and regions on the oversupply list, Work and Income will not issue a Skills Match Report, as it considers that there are New Zealand job seekers available and employers can engage with MSD to offer jobs to those New Zealand job seekers.
Despite this, it will still be possible to apply for a visa with a job that is on the oversupply list. Applicants will need to show evidence of advertising on a national website, and INZ will still consider the application and assess whether the labour market test is met.
No clear oversupply or undersupply
There is no change to the process for occupations and regions that are not on either the oversupply or undersupply lists. For jobs that are paid below the median wage, a Skills Match Report will continue to be required for a visa application, along with evidence of advertising on a national website.
The Work and Income website remains the best place for up to date information, and the lists can be accessed there. For further advice on these changes, including guidance on where to access and how to interpret these lists, or for assistance with your work visa application, please contact us.