The Minister of Immigration and Transport has confirmed the details of a new Transport Sector Agreement, which will provide certainty for public transport users and businesses relying on freight movement in Aotearoa New Zealand. Under the agreement, eligible bus drivers, truck drivers, ship’s masters (skippers) and deckhands will have a 2-year work to residence pathway. The agreement will be uncapped and will be reviewed after 12 months.
Employers can use the Accredited Employer Work Visa to recruit suitably qualified drivers, with eligible bus driving roles exempt from paying the median wage of $29.66 an hour. Eligible employers will be able to recruit bus drivers under the Accredited Employer Work Visa at a minimum of $28 an hour from 26 April. To be eligible for the median wage exemption and 2-year residence pathway, bus operators must have signed an All Parties Memorandum of Understanding on Improving Driver Terms and Conditions for public transport services or provide Ministry of Education-funded school bus services.
Truck drivers will be eligible for residence if they primarily drive vehicles requiring class 4 or 5 licenses. Ship’s masters (skippers) and deckhands who meet eligibility criteria are also included in the sector agreement and have a 2-year work to residence pathway.
The sector agreement has been introduced to support the transition from a reliance on low-skilled migrant labour and to improve wages and working conditions for all. The Green List occupation roles will open to applicants from 29 May 2023, including civil construction supervisors, gas fitters, drain layers, crane operators, civil machine operators, halal slaughterers, motor mechanics, and telecommunications technicians, and all teachers. Eligible applicants must have worked in a Green List occupation and met the specified requirements for 24 months, with applications available from 29 September 2023. Please refer to the relevant sources for further details on the transport sector agreement and the Green List roles.
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Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.