Offshore recruitment is often seen as a complex and costly alternative to onshore hiring, involving legal complexities and the import of workers to fill roles New Zealanders may prefer not to take. While we recognise the advantages of diversifying our culture and workforce, we tend to overlook the broader global benefits of offshore recruitment and how they impact our own country positively. This perspective shift is highlighted through my recent trip to the Philippines, where I observed a tightly-knit community in a rural setting.
This community (pictured in the photo) is based in a place called Gigaquit (pronounced Hig-a-qit) on the southern island of Mindanao. Many people there have chickens and pigs, some harvest sap from the Napa Palm to make vinegar, others go fishing or foraging in the mud flats for shellfish. Everyone in the community knows each other and they are an integral part of each other’s life, visiting each other to trade their catch for the day or to socialize and share food and beer for celebrations and events.
Their lack of industrial development stems from limited resources and expertise. Unlike New Zealand's diverse and thriving economy, this place lacks access to a variety of goods, and its inhabitants lead simpler lives. Despite these challenges, I found that the locals appeared happier than many New Zealanders.
In the context of offshore recruitment, the immediate advantages include filling roles that kiwis might not be inclined to take, thereby boosting business productivity.
But there is a much bigger picture on offshore employment and I'll now bring it to light:
- The wages earned by offshore employees contribute to the New Zealand economy, as it is spent on food and luxuries or saved to be reinvested into the economy.
- Additionally, offshore recruitment helps ensure a skilled workforce for various industries.
- Furthermore, offshore employment benefits migrants who gain new skills, experiences, and cultural insights. These individuals send remittances back to their communities, aiding their development.
- Conversely, when offshore employees come to New Zealand, we gain fresh perspectives and ideas.
Finally, all these aspects come back to something that is often missed when we consider the development of other countries or hiring from offshore, and this is the benefit that it brings to our nation when other nations also prosper as part of the global economy. An example of this is the growth of China and the growth of the Chinese middle class. As economic development has accelerated in China through its manufacturing industry, so too has its ability to purchase our milk powder and cherries creating a two-way relationship between our countries. This is true for any country. As their economies grow and develop, people have better access to the products of modernity, which in turn contributes back to our country’s economy through the services, ideas and food that we produce and they can now afford to buy.
Although we acknowledge potential pitfalls, like worker exploitation, at Trinity we fully support the need for responsible offshore practices. We are working hard to positively contribute to this dynamic by facilitating offshore employment that benefits both businesses and the global community. Ultimately, uplifting the rest of the world benefits us all.
- Andrew Lamont, Accounts Manager at Trinity