Early learning teachers need common sense immigration decisions

26 September 2020

The Early Childhood Council is calling on Immigration New Zealand to make common sense, timely decisions to help relieve the teacher shortage and allow skilled professionals to work.

Early learning centres are reporting qualified teachers’ Visa applications or renewals are being held up by a backlog of cases in the system, and system shut downs overseas.

“There are qualified teachers already here and working that have to stop because of regulation. They could be teaching children tomorrow and filling urgently required roles. Now’s not the time to get bogged in unnecessary regulation, but to make things happen,” said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.

Improving response times, bringing some flexibility to the immigration system and better co-ordination between Immigration and the Ministry of Education would make a huge difference for children, teachers and centres.

The ECC has tried to engage Immigration over a number of years to help solve the teacher shortage, with little luck. There’s a great opportunity to address issues like the Auckland Points System now while the borders are closed, so we’re best placed to move fast when they re-open.

“Everyone needs to play their part around border security to keep us safe, but if we can be smart about clearing these backlogs with some common sense decisions, everyone will be better off,” said Mr Reynolds.

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