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Published on January 13th, 2013 | by


Christchurch is looking for UK workers

Recruiters from New Zealand will be at Down Under Live in the UK next month, looking for workers to fill vacancies in Christchurch.

Their visit to events in Dublin, London, Birmingham and Glasgow comes as employers in New Zealand say they are “crying out” for workers. According to, some of Christchurch’s biggest employers are calling for more unskilled immigrants to be allowed into New Zealand to fill job vacancies.

While the city calls for tradesmen, engineers and management-level workers as the rebuild gets into full swing, some businesses say there is a similar need for those willing to do low-paid, unskilled work.Trish Paterson, recruitment manager for Christchurch-based employment agency Ryan Recruitment, said many local companies were struggling to fill positions that required no qualifications or skills that can be learned on the job.

“It’s not so much that

are not available, but in a lot of cases they are paying minimum wage and there are other employers paying more, even if it is only 50c per hour, people will move jobs for that,” she said.

Paterson said Christchurch may have to consider bringing in more immigrants.

“The work visa thing needs looking at. For example you get an Irish person who loves being here, contributes both with their efforts, adds to the local diversity and also their financial offerings to the region and often the country and they can’t easily extend or tweak their conditions; much to their frustrations.”

A spokesman for Sanford Ltd said the fishing company was understaffed, and desperately needed night-shift cleaners and factory process workers.

“The amount of applications we get are few and far between and the applications we are getting are not really of a level we want to take at the moment.

“A lot of the ones we’re getting are from overseas and they don’t have work visas and stuff so we can’t hire them anyway.”

People arriving in Christchurch were struggling with accommodation and choosing higher-paid work and becoming tradesmen. The company was looking abroad to solve its labour problem.

“It’s only going to get worse. We’ve been speaking to the CDC [Canterbury Development Corporation], and they’ve gone out and talked to other businesses and we’re all feeling the same.”

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