09 June 2009

New Zealand working holiday makers use new job hunting tool

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New Zealand working holiday makers now have a new pilot scheme that allows them to search for jobs and match their skills with employers in Queenstown.

According to the Otago Daily Times, the New Zealand working holiday pilot scheme for employers has been live for a fortnight and has already seen over a thousand New Zealand working holiday makers take advantage of the web-based tool.

Being a ski resort during the winter and adventure capital in the summer, Queenstown is heavily dependent on New Zealand working holiday makers to fill the jobs during peak months of the year. 

The New Zealand immigration department has released this new web tool to help employers source New Zealand working holiday makers during these peak times, using "Magnet technology".  The technology targets people with very specific skills and encourages them to emigrate to New Zealand by channelling them to a specific website.  The website provides information about emigrating to New Zealand, as well as matching their nominated skill with employers searching for that skill in New Zealand.

The website will not only be a free job-searching service for New Zealand working holiday makers, it would provide a free database of skilled workers for employers to access.

Amanda Gripske from the New Zealand Visa Bureau said the new pilot website would be valuable resource for New Zealand working holiday makers, making the pathway to employment that much easier.

"The New Zealand working holiday is already a world-class program offering young travellers a unique, adventure-based experience, and initiatives such as this undoubtedly add value to its reputation," Ms Gripske said.

"While I am sure employment would not be the top of the agenda for most New Zealand working holiday makers about to embark on their adventure, at some point over the twelve months a financial boost is a needed and the web tool will be a gold resource to finding vacant positions."

Jenny Alexander, immigration senior account manager for the Department of Labour, said that the initial response to the pilot scheme has been successful.  Responding primarily to advertisements on Facebook, around 1,000 registrations for the free service has been logged since the 7 May.

Most of the registrations have come from prospective New Zealand working holiday makers in the UK, US, Canada and Germany.  While American, Canadian and German New Zealand working holiday makers can work, live and holiday in New Zealand for up to 12 months on this visa type, British New Zealand working holiday makers can have an extra 11 months added to their New Zealand working holiday visa, giving them the opportunity for two seasons in Queenstown if they wished.

The figures from the scheme showed positive results for employers looking for staff in the tourism and hospitality industry. 

"Staffing a seasonal business is difficult. Even in a tight economic climate it can be hard to find the people you want, with the skills you require, who can work when you need them to," Ms Alexander said.

"And for many employers, it can seem too hard to recruit workers from overseas. Until now."

Although most positions have been filled in Queenstown already, the scheme has proven that it would work well to fill seasonal positions with New Zealand working holiday makers in the lead-up to next year's winter season, and has essentially been a way to measure interest from New Zealand working holiday makers.

Ms Alexander added that many people with skills in the hospitality or tourism industry look to the New Zealand working holiday as a popular option, and that the website will continue to be a valuable resource for both young travellers and New Zealand-based employers.

If you are interested in a New Zealand working holiday, take the free online assessment to see if you are eligible for a New Zealand working holiday visa, and a qualified migration consultant will be able to help you with your working holiday.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people with their New Zealand working holiday.

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