Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway today announced a number of changes to temporary work visas to create an employer-led framework and labour market tests. He wants the new system to make sure migrant workers are only used for genuine staff shortages and to raise the expectations on firms to hire and train more locals.

A consultation on the proposals is open for submissions until March 18. Among the changes is a proposal to negotiate agreements with specific sectors relying on low-skilled migrants. Employers would make commitments to take on more New Zealanders over time, reducing their reliance on migrant workers.

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