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Rise in number of British construction workers moving to New Zealand

The number of skilled construction workers emigrating from Britain to work in New Zealand increased by more than a tenth last year, official stats have shown.

Figures from the New Zealand government showed that 129 residence visas were approved for Brits with construction trades in the year to 30 June 2015.

This was up 13% on the previous year and more than double the number awarded in 2011/12.

The statistics came as New Zealand’s latest Labour Market Report showed that employment increased 0.7% in the first quarter of 2015, 3.3% over the year, with a knock on effect shown in immigration figures.

The government said that construction workers from the UK and Ireland were leading the way when it came to moving to New Zealand and that employment growth and demand was strongest for highly-skilled occupations, including engineers, surveyors and project managers.

It added that since 2011, when a series of earthquakes caused major damage to Christchurch on the South Island, work visas had returned to a pre-recession trajectory, a trend supported by workers arriving for the rebuild project.

Immigration New Zealand national manager, marketing, settlement, protection and attractions Greg Forsythe said: “Although the increasing jobs coming on the market are offered first to New Zealand residents there are many opportunities for overseas applicants looking to make New Zealand their home. 

“The quality of life is superb, New Zealand is ranked as the number one country in the world to raise children in a clean, healthy environment where no place is more than 128km from the sea; the country is ranked the least corrupt country in the world and is listed 4th out of 162 countries in the Global Peace Index Survey.”

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