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Tapping into migrant networks to boost growth

Tapping into migrant networks to boost growth

In a growing economy the Wellington region is becoming more reliant on migrant labour and talent. Such new skills will help ensure we have the capable workforce needed to keep up with the demands of our businesses.

The last two censuses identified immigration as the greatest contributor to our population growth, with a quarter of Welligntonians having been born overseas.

Despite our labour and skill needs, the employment outcomes for many new migrants in our region – and around the country – are in stark contrast to the total population. For some university qualified migrant groups the number in full time employment is half that the European population. This is particularly true for newer arrivals.

The Wellington Regional Strategy Office (WRS) is working to identify the level of migrant underemployment and factors that may contribute to this.

“We are making a concerted effort to establish collaborative initiatives with businesses, government agencies and migrant communities underway to both attract and retain the skills the region needs,” says WRS project leader Colin Drew.

“We also need to ensure that we are tapping into the skills and knowledge of our large migrant communities, which means businesses need to step up and encourage migrant-friendly and diverse workplaces to ensure the skills and knowledge of our migrant communities are being maximised.”

Grow Wellington has also been very active in its skills attraction activities, including targeting international events and business missions in the technology sector where shortages exist.