New Zealand Job for Migrants

  Seek Job in New Zealand

We look at the skills currently in demand in New Zealand. We also give some thought to the attitudes that help and hinder getting a job in New Zealand and the most common frustrations migrants have with employment here.

New Zealand Jobs Unfilled

The shortage of skills is acute:

       Newspaper and internet job ads continue at all-time highs. Employers are having to re-advertise positions they cannot fill.

       Lower skilled jobs are also difficult to fill. There has been discussion of bringing in unskilled but willing Pacific Islanders to help New Zealand's road building programmes.

      Almost 40,000 New Zealanders are unemployed. It appears that many people have attitudes and/or a lack of skills that make them poor candidates for employment.

       Skills in particular demand in New Zealand are notified in:

The Long Term Skill Shortage List.

The Immediate Skill Shortage List

Immigrants with the Right Attitude Succeed

Immigrants keen to make their way in a new country often have go-getting attitudes. The Press reported on Fantau Kelelew who had been in Christchurch for just two months. Fantau, a 23-year-old Ethiopian, came after spending 11 years in a Kenyan refugee camp.

Unlike many home-grown job-seekers she was willing to try anything, including night work and weekends. Within a week, she got a good job at one of the city's best known hotels, The Grand Chancellor.

But What About Me?

If you are one of The Immigration Guide's typical readers, you probably have good qualifications and are highly skilled. You may be wondering how on earth:

       The attitudes of New Zealand's unemployed, and
       The experiences of an Ethiopian refugee,

could possibly be relevant you.

They are relevant because they help us identify helpful and unhelpful attitudes.

Some migrants are fortunate enough to walk straight into an ideal job - more so these days as skills shortages bite deeply - a job that pays them what they had hoped for and provides all the perks they wished for.

Many migrants do not enjoy such good fortune. If you are patient, though, you will be much more successful.

It's a simple fact that people who are already in work are much more likely to be offered a job than people who are unemployed. Your first goal in New Zealand should be to get a job, even if it's not your ideal job. Obviously, don't take a job you think is completely unsuitable.

Remember you are much more likely to get your ideal job if you apply from a position of strength. This is important in a smaller labour market where your 'ideal job' may not come up as often as elsewhere.

If you can demonstrate a "can do" attitude to work and life, you should find it straightforward getting a job in New Zealand.

Migrant Frustrations

Most migrants are positive about their employment experiences in New Zealand, but it's best to be aware of frustrations that are voiced by a minority of migrants; forewarned is forearmed.

       If you have a combination of practical skills and management experience, you might sometimes find it difficult to get management work in NZ. You might have to return to practical work for a year or so before getting a management role.

       Working procedures in New Zealand can sometimes differ from overseas. Employers believe it's important for employees to have "New Zealand experience".

       Most NZ companies are small. Unless you are willing to move to another employer, there may be fewer opportunities for promotion. Of course where some see problems, others see opportunities. The opportunity often provided by New Zealand's small companies is greater freedom and responsibility.

Although you still hear the occasional migrant complaint, the first two points above are mainly historical, certainly with larger employers. They are a relic of the time before General Skills or Skilled Migrant Category migration. Then it was virtually impossible to migrate to New Zealand without a job-offer or family connection.

Nowadays, the majority of New Zealand's employers are familiar with Skilled Migration. Most migrants find job-hunting and its outcomes in NZ virtually identical to other western countries.

In Summary

New Zealand's labour market is suffering from skills shortages in many areas.
There are definitely some very good opportunities for migrants at the moment. Skilled and unskilled jobs are more plentiful than for a long time. Remember, though, check the jobs market. Make sure your personal skills are in demand. Kiwis often joke that New Zealand has the most highly qualified taxi-drivers in the world - immigrants, like Russian nuclear engineers, who came here and discover no demand for their skills. (New Zealand, of course, has no nuclear power plants.)

Good luck in your job-search and remember, a positive attitude brings success. Good Hunting!

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