The Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) policy, which was introduced in December 2003, is New Zealand’s main permanent skilled labour migration policy, contributing more than half of all residence approvals. This report uses data available through Statistics New Zealand’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) to analyse the labour market integration, measured through employment in the labour market as well as income and earnings, and retention of these skilled migrants three years since taking up residence in New Zealand. The results in this study highlight the fact that skilled migrants generally settle well into the New Zealand labour market. Nevertheless, some groups of skilled migrants settle better than others (for example, skilled migrants employed or had a job offer at the time of residence approval) and policy settings could potentially better target these groups. For the groups of skilled migrants experiencing lower levels of labour market integration (for example, former international students) targeted settlement support services can facilitate their pathways to skilled employment.
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Labour Market Integration and Retention of Skilled Migrants in New Zealand
Page last modified: 15 Mar 2018