NZ contractors applaud RSE immigration scheme

NZ contractors applaud RSE immigration scheme

NZ contractors applaud RSE immigration scheme

Vineyard contractors in Marlborough, New Zealand, are continuing to applaud the Recognised Seasonal Employer plan as a key solution to fill labour shortages in many local vineyards, as the pruning season is under way.

As of Monday, around 600 RSE labourers were in Marlborough, compared to 580 by the end of May 2011, reveals to the Labour Department. Owner of Marlborough Vine Works, Aaron Jay, says that pruning started mid-May and will end around September.

For 2012, the firm had 140 labourers: around 50 from Marlborough, including 20 permanent staff and 60 from Vanuatu with the RSE scheme. There were also backpackers from the UK, Europe and South America, as well as Work and Income clients.

However, Mr Jay said he was generally not impressed with the work ethic of certain backpackers, calling them unreliable. Their visas indicate that they are on a working holiday, which means they are here just to have a good time, he explained.

Some of these backpackers are “brilliant”, said Mr Jay. However, there are a few who just want to take advantage of the system, he added.

There were sufficient vineyard contractors in Marlborough for travellers to switch between them on a month-to-month basis. This means that, ultimately, the contractors were the ones losing out by having to pay low wages for poor work quality, he lamented.

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