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Thread: Kiwi expats head home, but the hard part is landing a job

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    Default Kiwi expats head home, but the hard part is landing a job

    Kiwi expats head home, but the hard part is landing a job
    Page 1 of 2 ..... 4:00AM Sunday Jun 21, 2009
    By Jane Phare

    Last year, Kiwi mechanical engineer Rodney O'Connor landed his dream job: test riding motorbikes for an Austrian motorcycle company.

    Now, thanks to the recession, O'Connor and his wife Jessie are both out of work and are heading home in August.

    O'Connor, 35, couldn't believe his luck when he got a job with prestigious Austrian motorcycle company KTM, test driving off-road and racing motorbikes. Jessie, 32, got a marketing job with the same company.

    Now the dream is over. Both have been made redundant and their work visa restrictions mean they have to leave a country they love.

    Their OE wasn't supposed to end this way. When they left New Plymouth two years ago for Dubai, both were confident they would find work.

    The offer from KTM caused them to head for Austria in August last year, but, within months, the company had been hit hard by the global recession. First Jessie was made redundant just before Christmas, then Rodney was told his contract would be over by August.

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    Mother Bear

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    Kiwis flock home from Aussie
    By MARTIN KAY and STACEY WOOD - The Dominion Post
    Last updated 05:00 08/07/2009

    Kiwis living in Australia are heading home in numbers not seen for 20 years.

    And those looking for greener pastures in Australia are significantly fewer, as would-be migrants weather the economic storm at home.

    New Zealand has had a net loss of migrants to Australia for decades, but Statistics NZ figures show the trend has eased as jobs become less secure on both sides of the ditch.

    In the first five months of this year, nearly 4000 Kiwis headed home from Australia, about 500 more than in the corresponding periods for 2008 and 2007. More than 800 Kiwis came back in May alone the highest May figure since 1990.

    At the same time, the number of Kiwis heading across the Tasman permanently or long term in the first five months of this year was 4500 down on the year to May 31 last year.

    The figures suggest Kiwis who might consider the move are thinking twice about leaving jobs here or, if out of work, about trying their luck in Aussie.

    Although Australia is not yet technically in recession, its unemployment rate is 5.7 per cent, compared to 5 per cent here.

    Finance Minister Bill English said there was evidence that some of the Kiwis returning home were going straight on the dole, but there were many positive aspects to them coming back.

    "In the short term, it can put a bit of pressure on our number of people out of work, but in the longer term, we want an economy that attracts Kiwis back, and if people are coming back or not leaving, we're focusing on raising economic performance so that they'll stay here."

    The Dominion Post reported yesterday that Kiwis are finding it increasingly tough across the Tasman, with nearly 21,000 losing their jobs in the past year.

    A study by The Australian newspaper said unemployment among Kiwis across the ditch was 7 per cent, although Australia's Immigration Department says the level is 4 per cent well below Australia's national rate.

    Peter Fowler, managing director of Kiwi international recruiting company RecRadar, said the declining commodities trade in Australia had hit the job market hard, especially unskilled labour.

    "A number of mines have closed down ... so that would affect the number of New Zealanders out of jobs."

    Mr English said Kiwis who had lost work in Australia were likely to have recently started or switched jobs, as was the case here.

    "Two-thirds of the people going on the dole have been on a benefit before, so people who were last into the workforce are just being flushed back out again.

    "I suspect, over there, Kiwis who have just turned up and haven't been in a job long will be first off. There's no evidence it's because they're Kiwis."
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    Kiwis laid off in Australia face the choice of moving back often at big expense or sticking it out in a tight job market.

    Caitlin Smith, 23, pictured, is an ex-Hawke's Bay resident now living in Melbourne. She was made redundant in May as a sales manager for a printing and office-supply store.

    "One Friday I didn't get paid so I rang up and they were like, `we're going to have to let you go'."

    It took her three months, more than 50 job applications, and three interviews to secure another job. There were more than 400 applicants for the post she finally got, at a call centre for an insurance firm.

    But she did not feel disadvantaged being a Kiwi seeking work there and has no plans to come home.

    Cambridge man James Mccreery, 22, returned from the Gold Coast, where he was doing "bits and pieces" of construction work.

    He also studied business at university but has found "millions of other people with the same degree" applying for the same jobs.

    Being back in New Zealand, he felt it was easier to look for work. "It's like you're a bit of a smaller fish in a bigger pond over there."

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    Default Expat dole figures monitored

    Expat dole figures monitored
    By MARTIN KAY - The Dominion Post
    Last updated 05:00 09/07/2009

    The Social Development Ministry is monitoring how many Kiwis return from overseas and go straight on the dole amid concerns it could worsen gloomy unemployment forecasts.

    But it said the figures so far were having little impact, with research showing that while the number of expats on the dole was up, most went off it quickly.

    Just under 3000 people who signed on for the dole in the year to March gave their reason as "returned to New Zealand", 50 per cent up on the previous year.

    The ministry said the figure was not statistically significant as the proportion of people on the benefit after returning had remained the same, largely due to increasing job losses here.

    It also noted that by the end of May, more than 70 per cent of those who had returned and signed on between March and September 2008 were no longer drawing the benefit.

    "The return of New Zealanders to the country is not having a big impact on unemployment benefit numbers," it said.

    The unemployment rate is about 5 per cent - low by world standards - but is forecast to rise to 8 per cent by next year. About 1000 people join the dole queue each week, though Finance Minister Bill English said it was important to note many also left it.

    The ministry couldn't give details on country of origin for returning expats going on a benefit, but The Dominion Post reported this week that Kiwis in Australia were finding it tough.

    Nearly 21,000 have lost jobs there in the last year, according to The Australian newspaper, and Statistics NZ figures show numbers returning this year are at levels not seen for 20 years.

    From here.
    Mother Bear

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