As I’ve said, MBIE do release approvals data monthly, but it is hard to use (at least for a lay person with a spreadsheet). The temporary approvals spreadsheet is some half a million lines long.
But I decided to brave it anyway. The spreadsheet contains approvals up to the end of March 2017. And I was curious as to whether there was anything in the Essential Skills approvals (those for some of the more – supposedly – skilled roles) to back the suggestions being made by the Herald and Professor Paul Spoonley. To minimise my effort – and the last column of this little table took the best part of an hour – I focused just on approvals of people from the 10 countries that were top of the list in the latest summary MBIE data (that for the year to June 2016).
There is some overlap in the last two columns. The first two columns are June years (the basis of MBIE’s summary data) and the final column is a March year (seeing as it is still April now).
|Essential skills visas granted, by country|
|2006/07||2015/16||12mths to Mar 17|
|Total all countries||31015||31766||32775|
But there isn’t much sign of the patterns having changed in the most recent year. Of the European countries, UK approvals are up a bit, but still below where they were a decade ago, and Irish approvals are down a bit, but still above where they were a decade ago. And by a clear margin, approvals of people from the Phippines and India top the list.
Two other things caught my eye. Total approvals haven’t changed much – in the last year, or in the last decade (although they did dip during the recession). And approvals for people from China have been tailing off. The peak year for Chinese approvals was, in fact, 2004/05.