[b:5330402929]Skilled migrants' job luck a mixed bag
By Julie Middleton

What has happened to the skilled migrants featured in the Herald in May this year? Brief CVs of 16 migrants ran with a three-part feature on barriers to finding work.

The feature revealed that employers were not necessarily racist, but uncertain about cultural differences and used lack of experience as a cover-all phrase to avoid dealing with their discomfort.

The 16 whose CVs appeared were registered with the Auckland Chamber of Commerce's New Kiwis programme.

Seven are employed; one who had a good job has followed her chief executive husband to a career promotion back to India. Two are underemployed and looking for something better. Three are studying and two may have left the country. One is on a benefit but still working with the chamber.

Their attitudes to life here, says project manager Leah Gates, range from "loving life to feeling down about the opportunities".

Their stories ... eight months on:

Kitty Ho, Hong Kong, Australian business degree, banking experience: employed in banking.

Bhaskaran Jagannathan, India, commerce degree, IT engineer: working for Auckland City as master data assistant since July. "With a job in hand, living does change ..."

Chris Kannan, India, IT masters degree, network engineer: working as a network engineer.

Vincent George, India, chemistry degree and marketing MBA, paint and automotive industries: working in retail for Resene Paints.

Mohammed Alam, Bangladesh, mechanical engineer: studying.

Savita Bhaskaran, India, commerce degree, customer service background: temping for Auckland City through Drake Personnel.

Pallavi Parbhoo, Zimbabwe, retailing background: AA customer service representative.

"I've learned to take any job for now and work up the ladder."

Anitha Shankar, India, marketing MBA, business background: was working as Team Progress (database administrator) account manager, but has just returned to Mumbai, India, where her husband has landed a plum CEO job. "It's with mixed feelings that I moved back," she confesses.

Gunther Kothen, Germany, PhD natural science: product specialist for radiology and nuclear medicine products company.

"I love being in New Zealand ... We bought a property south of Auckland and plan to start breeding alpacas."

Joseph Kim, Korea, business qualifications: working with the chamber to find work experience on the North Shore in entry-level data entry/accounts.

Sastry Ram, India, law degree: working as an Auckland City parking attendant, but is completing law professionals and expects to be admitted to the Bar this month.

Bryan Tejani, India, textiles background: forecourt attendant, Shell service station.

Mona Bindra, India, arts degree: on teacher-aide training course until March 2006.

Patrick Yiu, Hong Kong, UK MBA, banking background: studying environmental management part-time and seeking work. Hasn't been granted any job interviews, and suspects recruitment company prejudice, but is "still happy to be living in New Zealand".

Anthony Wang, China, British economics degree, banking background: has possibly left New Zealand.

William Wang, China, computer science degree, IT experience: has possibly left New Zealand.

The New Kiwis programme placed more than 600 migrants in jobs in 2005.