More than 3000 highly skilled British citizens have pre-registered to attend the Opportunities New Zealand Expo to be held in London in March 2006. The Expo brings together Kiwi employers and experienced professionals who are dedicated to moving to New Zealand.
Over 200 New Zealanders from 40 businesses and organizations such as Statistics New Zealand, Teach NZ and Opus will head to London to recruit skilled British and expatriate workers.
A better lifestyle the incentive
Hayley Roberts, a director of the Opportunities New Zealand Expo, says their research shows that 85 percent of last October’s 6000 Expo attendees were drawn to New Zealand because it offers a better lifestyle.
”Our Expo visitors are absolutely committed to moving to New Zealand and by talking to the Kiwi exhibitors working at the Expo, they get a better picture of the areas in New Zealand where they want to live, what jobs are on offer and how to go about taking steps to migrate,” says Roberts.
Roberts says they are excited to have Statistics New Zealand, the largest employer of statistical skills in the country, as a first-time exhibitor.
Melissa Parry, Recruitment Manager for Statistics New Zealand, says that although they recruit and develop graduates in New Zealand, they also need to use other sources for candidates.
"We need qualified people that we can't currently attract in New Zealand. We are competing in an international employment market, and at the same time trying to maintain our international reputation as a leading national statistical agency. This Expo presents a huge opportunity for us to attract qualified Kiwis home and to get the skilled people we need from a larger market,” says Parry.
”Also participating in the March Expo are Bayleys Realty Group, Westpac Banking Corporation and Auckland District Health Board. Immigration New Zealand also fully supports, endorses and attends the Expo, giving on the spot advice to hopeful new Kiwis,” says Roberts.
She says the high calibre of candidates is one of the reasons why New Zealand employers are looking to the UK to solve their staffing shortages.
Sue Scott, Human Resources Manager of Audit New Zealand, attended October’s Expo in London and as a result is progressing a number of opportunities for people to join Audit New Zealand's talent pool.
”The Expo was absolutely amazing and exceeded our expectations,” says Scott.
This year the six biggest work categories in which pre-registered people are skilled are Healthcare, IT, Business/Finance, Engineering, Trades and Teaching.
This month’s Expo is being held in Earls Court on March 25th and 26th and has been scheduled to meet the demand for skill shortages in New Zealand in key areas such as healthcare, accountancy and engineering.
Opportunities New Zealand Expo is held three times a year, once in March and twice in October in London and Manchester. Attendance by New Zealand employers has increased five fold in the last five years with 120 exhibitors showing in the UK last year.
Expos in October 2005
The bumper attendances at both Opportunities New Zealand Expos held in London and Manchester in October 2005 are clear evidence of the desire of British workers to live and work in New Zealand and enjoy what they believe will be a better lifestyle.
Hayley Roberts, a director of Opportunities New Zealand Expo, said that they were very pleased with the crowd, especially the number of quality candidates, particularly given that a main rail line in to the event was down and they were competing with two huge English soccer matches!
Employers at the event thrilled at the response
Geoff Balmain from Transit New Zealand received over 50 curriculum vitae for specialised positions in the first day. Colin Gilchrist from Fisher and Paykel Appliances said they were looking for quality rather than quantity and had interviewed up to 15 employable candidates.
Queues were backed up to get to the Rotorua stand, said Jo Gargiulo who was promoting the tourist city. Those showing interest included doctors, physios, midwives, engineers, fitters and welders.
Another exhibitor, Hamish Mitchell from Bayleys Realty, said Auckland and Christchurch were the most popular destinations for British migrants followed by Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, and then Wellington.
Shaun Gilhooley from Positively Wellington helped 62 families migrate as a result of the Expo in 2004, and Barbara Arnott, Mayor of Napier, has assisted 80 families move to her region.
Both attended the 2005 event and were impressed with the excellent candidates. “Every year it is overwhelming to see the quality people who are dedicated and informed regarding migrating to New Zealand,“ said Gilhooley.
Roberts said they spoke to many Kiwis keen to return home who said the Expo was excellent for making contacts and for information which they hadn’t been able to source from extensive research on the Internet.
Based on figures from the 2005 Expos nearly 65 percent of the visitors had a Bachelors degree, 13 percent were trade trained and only 2 percent had a minimum qualification from secondary school. Most were aged between 36 and 40 years of age and the majority expected to arrive in New Zealand six months to a year after the Opportunities New Zealand Expo.
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Hayley Roberts, a director of Opportunities New Zealand Expo, says amongst the many success stories are three migrants who have moved to Auckland and are working with healthAlliance, the shared service consortium of Waitemata and South Auckland health boards.
”This is a very fast turnaround, to attend the Expo in mid to late October, then migrate within two months. It just shows you how keen people are to move here,” says Roberts.
Ian Clark, an anaesthetic technician who was previously in Yorkshire, had never been to New Zealand, but has moved for a change of lifestyle.
”I’d never been before, but thought Id take the plunge. I was sitting in a café in Takapuna recently on a beautiful sunny day and across the road the Salvation Army Band was playing ’Oh Come All Ye Faithful’. It was surreal. Strange. Very, strange,” says Clark.
Sandra Jevons, a midwife from Devon, had also never been to New Zealand, but was also motivated for lifestyle reasons.
”The UK has become far too expensive to bring up a family. We are buying our own home and the children are settled into local schools.
”We would recommend anyone interested to visit the Expo to find out all aspects of moving to New Zealand. This is a very welcoming and beautiful country,” says Jevons.
Sarah Baylis, a radiographer originally from New Zealand, who had been living in London has moved back to be closer to immediate family. Sarah, who is pregnant, is looking forward to raising her family now that they can afford to.
”We had only been back once since I moved to England, and my husband fell in love with the country and the lifestyle,” says Baylis.