New Zealand: An approach to immigration authorities to help ease a perceived shortage of New Zealand residents with digital geospatial knowledge has succeeded. The classification “other spatial scientist” has been added to Immigration New Zealand’s Long-Term Skills Shortage List (LTSSL).
This means an immigrant who has a “bachelor degree specialising in geography or computer science and a minimum of two years’ relevant post-qualification work experience in GIS applications” will find it easier to qualify for a work or residence visa.
“Migrants who gain employment in one of [the listed] occupations may be granted a work visa under the LTSSL Work to Residence or Essential Skills instructions,” said Immigration NZ documentation. “Migrants applying for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category may gain bonus points towards their application if they have an offer of employment, work experience or qualifications in an area of absolute skill shortage identified on the LTSSL,” the document stated.
The initiative to improve the supply of geospatial specialists was organised by the NZ branch of the Spatial Industries Business Association (Siba) and Land Information NZ. They see it as remedying a skills shortage that would otherwise have got worse as interest in the use of geospatial information in business grows.
“Research commissioned through Victoria University into the capability of the spatial industry in New Zealand has confirmed a skills shortage in this area,” said New Zealand Geospatial Office principal analyst Geoff O’Malley.
“This is just one step towards addressing that. In the longer term we’ll work with schools to raise awareness of spatial sciences as a career option, and with universities to increase the tertiary level qualifications available in this area.
“This addition to the LTSSL reflects a collaborative effort between government, academia and industry, O’Malley said. “We all support the growth of the New Zealand spatial industry and, together, have put forward a strong and successful application.”
“This removes some of the barriers to improving the supply and demand position,” said Siba geospatial capability lead Scott Campbell, “but it will need to be promoted” so that aspiring immigrants know geospatial skills will be well received in New Zealand.
Source: Computer World