According to recent research carried out by the Department of Labor, The New Zealand Regional Seasonal Employer Scheme (RSE) brings a lot of benefits for NZ employers and foreign workers who are participating in it.
RSE is designed in order to help NZ companies to attract personnel in areas for which labour shortages exist such as agriculture, horticulture and viticulture. Every year more than 8000 foreign workers come to New Zealand under the Regional Seasonal Employment Scheme.
Although local companies are required to search for unemployed New Zealand citizens before hiring foreigners, it is very difficult for some industries to find enough workers on the local market especially at peak times. For example, it is estimated that around 50 000 workers are needed in New Zealand at harvest time. Between 6000 and 7000 of those workers are usually foreigners. This equals to 10-15% of the total workforce.
The research shows that a lot of the RSE workers return to New Zealand to work for another season. Working in New Zealand provides them with valuable skills and experience and income that they can bring home. The average annual salary of a New Zealand worker is 12 500 New Zealand Dollars. Most of the RSE workers spend between three and twelve months in the country. Furthermore, overseas workers are paid the same salaries as their New Zealand colleagues and enjoy the same working rights and protections.
Around 50% of companies want to hire the same employees for the next season. Returning workers can be immediately effective and productive in comparison with the first-time workers who usually need initial on-the-job-training. Many employers agree that the hiring of foreign workers was helpful for their company and increased the efficacy and the efficiency of their business operations.