A Guide To Getting a Job in New Zealand

Like most countries worldwide, New Zealand has not escaped unscathed from the recession and currently unemployment stands at around 6.8%, high for New Zealand but still below the average for OECD member countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Predictions are that unemployment in New Zealand will fall in 2013 as the market recovers and businesses start to gain more confidence.

New Zealand has always been seen as a desirable place to live and work and perhaps one of the reasons for this is the flexible working conditions. Employees enjoy a 38 hour week with on average 4 weeks paid holidays a year plus national holidays. Job sharing, flexi-time and working from home are all common working practices.

Skill Shortages

Some of the main skills shortages lie in construction, engineering, healthcare and education , with Canterbury in particular suffering from shortages of skilled workers in construction and engineering due to the earthquake rebuild. The New Zealand immigration website has the full essential skills in demand list.

It’s worth noting that there are 3 separate skills shortage lists; the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTTSL) which is used for both temporary work and applying for residency; the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) which can only be used for temporary work and the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL) for occupations that are necessary for the Canterbury rebuild.

Finding Work

Obviously with a weaker market, finding a job will present difficulties for the newly arrived migrant so you need to improve your chances as much as you can; the more qualified and experienced you are the better. Also be prepared to look beyond your chosen field at other areas as it may not be realistic to think you can walk straight into your chosen career, you may have to start nearer to the bottom and work your way up but it’s worth it if living in New Zealand is your ultimate goal.

You will find it much easier to get work in New Zealand if you have your work/residency visa so make this your first goal before you start applying for jobs.

Search through local and national newspapers such as the New Zealand Herald which not only has current vacancies but also employment news and details of training courses. Other local newspapers such as The Dominion Post and The Press are more localised but still very relevant.

Employment agencies and job websites are another possibility and it’s worth considering these just to get your foot in the door. The Careers NZ Website has an extensive list of agencies and job websites.

Don’t forget that traditional ways of approaching employers direct still works, so look up every large employer in your industry and send them a ‘cold’ letter of introduction along with your CV, then follow this up by phone calls once you arrive in New Zealand.