Chile looks to NZ for ag labor visa inspiration -

Chile looks to NZ for ag labor visa inspiration

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Chile looks to NZ for ag labor visa inspiration

Chile is looking to see if it can learn any lessons from New Zealand's temporary work visas when it comes to recruiting seasonal agricultural workers.

Chilean labor minister Evelyn Matthei

Labor and social welfare minister Evelyn Matthei was recently in the country examining New Zealand' six month visa for foreigners working in agriculture.

The minister met with her New Zealand counterpart Kate Wilkinson, and discussed the two countries' challenges in hiring rural laborers.

"New Zealand has also suffered with the migration of agricultural workers in industry, but have been successful in bringing people to train and work in the field, which is a mainstay of the New Zealand economy," said Matthei.

Wilkinson said the government had worked with private companies to address the lack of skilled workers in agriculture offering incentives such as health and accident insurance.

She quoted the fact that each year 1,000 young Chileans come to work in the country as evidence of the scheme's success, which also contributes to New Zealand's economy.

Wilkinson said she was interested in Chile's social protection scheme for people in extreme poverty offering incentives to send their children to school and monitor their health.

Related stories: Chile to scrutinize producers over workers' health rights

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