Keep The Dream Alive For Filipino Migrant Workers

Keep The Dream Alive For Filipino Migrant Workers

By Patrick Kirkland, 14 May 2018

Newshub recently reported on the plight of Filipino workers who’ve been brought to New Zealand to bolster our under-resourced labour market, an industry which is screaming out for skilled tradesmen.

While they were brought here with good intentions, this group of workers, along with others around the country, have become victims of poor management and planning on their agencies side. These men are highly skilled tradesmen with a wealth of knowledge and experience. The fact that they’re sitting around at home in this market defies belief.

What Went Wrong?

In my opinion, agencies should be held more accountable for the guys they bring in from the Philippines. They should be able to supply solid proof of future and ongoing work before being allowed to bring them in to the country.

Having these men sit at home whilst paying them a minimum 30 hours per week isn’t good for anyone. It’s particularly unfair for the men who’ve left their families in search of a brighter future in New Zealand not only for  themselves, but for their immediate and extended family back home.

Unlike a lot of Kiwi’s these days, these guys aren’t content with collecting a pay cheque for 30 hours for doing nothing at all. If given the choice, many of them would be working as many hours as physically/legally possible. The desire these men have to work and do well by their employer is something the younger generation in New Zealand could learn a lot from.

Visa Restrictions In Desperate Need Of Change

The other issue is this: if these workers are brought into the country on a work visa by an agency, their visa will only legally allow them to work for that agency and in that region.

In other words, this type of visa condition is incredibly restrictive and inhibits the workers from being able to go elsewhere in search of work.

The alternative? Workers would require either a visa variation to allow them to join another company in that region, or an entirely new visa to allow them to work in another region. Both of these alternate options are costly and can take up to six weeks to process.

I feel a rethink of these type of visa conditions could be a potential solution to this issue. Give the workers who’ve been poorly managed by their agency the opportunity to explore other employment options to keep their dreams alive.

filipino migrant workersThe FS Trades Story

I’ve worked closely with a number of Filipino tradesmen over the last few years and we’re yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have an exceptional work ethic, and most importantly, a great sense of humor.

Recently we met with a group of Filipino workers in Auckland and heard their story. We have since relocated four of them to the South Island where they’re happily working a solid 45-hour week and living in comfort. It’s disappointing to see people who hold such a strong desire to work not being put to good use. There is work out there for them and their agencies are letting them down.

We are here to help those who have been mismanaged and pair them up with clients who require good staff on a long-term basis.

If you’re a worker looking for ongoing work, or a construction company who want a relationship focused agency who can offer a sustainable staffing solution, let’s chat today.

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