Friday, 27 February 2009

NZ luring skilled Filipinos

Emilia Narni J. David
BusinessWorld Online

NEW ZEALAND is positioning itself as a destination for highly skilled overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Philip Burdon, chairman of the Asia- New Zealand Foundation, said in an interview last Wednesday night that "there is a rapidly expanding Asian population in New Zealand and the country is definitely opening up to more Asians."

He added that 11% of the population of New Zealand is currently composed of Asians and that by the year 2026, 25% of the population would be Asians.

According to the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), there was an estimated 23,000 Filipinos in New Zealand in 2007. The number is expected to have doubled last year. Around 360,000 Filipinos were estimated in Oceania (Australia, New Zealand, Palau and Papua New Guinea) with majority living and working in Australia.
POEA has said that it is expanding the market where OFWs can go to including New Zealand. However, majority of Filipinos still prefer to go to markets like the United Kingdom and to the Middle East.

Mr. Burdon said New Zealand can be a good choice for OFWs who are in the health care, hospitality, information technology, accountancy, law and agricultural industry.
"We have high standards and demanding criteria, but that is to ensure that the standards in the country are met," he said.

Richard Grant, executive director of the Asia-New Zealand Foundation, said "We are a nation that is in transition, where so many of our young people are moving across New Zealand or outside of the country. So, immigrants and migrant workers can integrate well."

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