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Engineers and bricklayers from the UK and Philippines replace teachers and hospitality workers as main types of migrants to Canterbury

Engineers and bricklayers from the UK and Philippines replace teachers and hospitality workers as main types of migrants to Canterbury
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Canterbury has a higher proportion of migrants arriving from Asia than any other region in the country except Auckland, according to a new report by Statistics NZ.

The report, International Migration to and from Canterbury region: 1996-2014, said that from 1996 to 2014, the biggest source of Asian immigrants to Canterbury was Japan.

"That picture had changed recently," the report said.

"In the year ended June 2014, 29% of Asian migrants arriving in Canterbury came from the Philippines, compared with an average of 8% between 1996 and 2014.

"Migrants arriving from the Philippines to other New Zealand regions averaged 14% in 2014."

The report said that migrants arriving in Canterbury also tended to be more concentrated in the 15-34 age group than in other parts of the country and there had also been a sharp turnaround in the ratio of male to female migrants.

On average, fewer males than females arrived on Canterbury from 1996 to 2014, however that trend had recently reversed,  and in 2014, there were 125 male migrants to the region for every 100 female migrants.

There had also been a big increase in people arriving in Canterbury on work visas.

"The number of migrants arriving in Canterbury on work visas increased from 1900 in 2004 to 4200 in 2014," the report said.

"Following the post-earthquake fall in work visa arrivals, seen in 2011, work visa arrivals to Canterbury surpassed pre-earthquake levels as the rebuild gained momentum.

"The UK was the largest source of migrants on work visas, jumping form an average of 600 a year in 2004, to an average of 1000 a year in 2013 and 2014.

The other major change was the big jump in the number of workers from the Philippines coming to Canterbury.

"Migrants from the Philippines are now the second largest source country of migrants arriving in Canterbury on work visas, with a record high of 700 arrivals in the June year," the report said.

There had also been some big changes in the type of work migrants to Canterbury were undertaking.

Prior to the Canterbury earthquakes, the main occupations of permanent and long term migrants to the region were school teachers and food and hospitality workers, but after 2011 the main migrant occupation categories became bricklayers, carpenters, joiners and engineering professionals.

"Demand for engineering professionals in Canterbury steadily increased following the main earthquakes, while in the June 2014 year the arrival of engineers started to stabilise," the report said.

"In contrast, the number of bricklayers, carpenters and joiners was slower to grow following the earthquakes, but as the rebuild pace increased, people with these professions arrived in greater numbers."


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