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Thread: New immigrants finding it tough?

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    Default New immigrants finding it tough?


    Immigrants find new life in NZ tough
    14 September 2006

    Employers' attitudes are out of step with the realities of New Zealand's rapidly growing immigrant population, with many migrants continuing to face discrimination from prospective employers, according to a report.

    The report ? Being Accepted: The Experience of Discrimination and Social Exclusion by Immigrants and Refugees in New Zealand ? by researchers at Massey University's New Settlers' Programme, found immigrants dealt with discrimination over work experience, language skills and whether they were Muslim or not.

    College of Humanities and Social Sciences in Auckland research director and a member of the programme Professor Paul Spoonley said finding jobs which reflected their qualifications and experience was one of the biggest hurdles for new immigrants.

    Prof Spoonley said the attitudes of employers came at a time when the immigrant population, particularly in Auckland, had the highest number of overseas-born people in Australasia. Many of the migrants in the study said they had expected to find work in this country much more easily than they did, he said.

    Some immigrants expressed annoyance that their overseas qualifications were not recognised here and that they had to retrain or undergo further study in New Zealand to gain local qualifications before they were accepted.

    The cost of gaining New Zealand qualifications was often prohibitive for those who found they had to retrain or get additional training, the report found. As well as being overlooked for jobs because of their accents, immigrants also said they experienced discrimination once they had found work.

    While some felt under-valued, under-utilised or ignored when they could have been appointed to positions of responsibility they felt they deserved, others ? both professional and tradespeople ? reported being perceived as outsiders and excluded from the social networks in their workplace.

    Muslims and people of Middle Eastern origin who were not Muslim felt particularly discriminated against in the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

    "Some people are making fun of us and saying you are a terrorist or perhaps you are from (the) Bin Laden family and you are a Muslim so that makes you a terrorist," one Muslim refugee said. Some, including an Afghani refugee, say they try to avoid discrimination by hiding their ethnic identity.

    Immigrants also spoke of being discriminated against in terms of access to goods and services, especially housing and education. Prof Spoonley said the issues raised were vital for all New Zealanders.

    "If we're not developing more appropriate attitudes towards immigrant employees, then we're really not reflecting Auckland of New Zealand in 2006."
    - NZPA
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    Default Re: New immigrants finding it tough?

    Jobless refugee forced to sleep in car
    18 September 2006
    By KIM THOMAS

    A Somali refugee has been living in his car for two months after being unable to get a house or a job in Christchurch.

    Refugee Abdirashid Abdullahi's situation, while more extreme than many, mirrors the difficulties faced by immigrants to New Zealand.

    They were outlined in a Massey University report released last week which found immigrant jobseekers were being discriminated against, particularly if they were thought to be Muslim.

    Abdirashid Abdullahi told The Press through a translator that he came to Christchurch two months ago in the hope of securing work as a halal butcher.

    People had told Abdullahi there was a lot of butchering work in the South Island.

    However, unable to find a job or an affordable place to live, he said he was forced to sleep in his car.

    On hearing about his predicament, Christchurch Muslim leaders allowed Abdullahi to park his vehicle in the mosque carpark rather than on the inner-city streets.

    Abdullahi said he was on the waiting list for a Housing New Zealand home.

    The 22-year-old said he came to New Zealand over two years ago as a refugee.

    His parents were killed in the Somali civil war when he was seven.

    Abdullahi said his uncle paid for him to come to New Zealand in 2004, where he was granted permanent residency.

    Since arriving in the country, Abdullahi said he had worked as an orchard worker in the Hawkes Bay but this work had since dried up.

    Abdullahi said because his grasp of English was poor, it was difficult for him to apply for jobs and houses, although he had been assisted by both the Muslim Association of Canterbury and Somalis living here.

    "I feel neglected, forgotten, because I am forcing to live in my car."

    The Massey University report found new immigrants were being discriminated against when looking for jobs, particularly if they are thought to be Muslim.

    The report, Being Accepted: The Experience of Discrimination and Social Exclusion by Immigrants and Refugees in New Zealand, concluded many employers' attitudes were out of step with the realities of the rapidly increasing immigrant population and a shortage of workers.

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