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Refugees Still Overlooked Despite Labour Shortage

6 April 2005

Wellington Region’s Migrants And Refugees Still Overlooked Despite Labour Shortage

Work and Income and one of New Zealand's largest private tertiary providers have teamed up to offer qualified migrants and refugees a 'step up into work' programme, largely to combat the hesitation some employers experience when faced with skilled migrants.

The Wellington based training programme, developed by the Sir George Seymour National College of Tourism and Travel, aims to get more qualified refugees and migrants into employment, as well as tertiary qualified New Zealanders having difficultly moving into the workforce.

The five-week programme, which ran its first intake in October, is already having some early success, with several candidates securing full time work since completing the programme, or moving into more targeted study.

Sir George Seymour Wellington campus manager Sue Scott said the course has evolved into an extremely practical 'how to' guide for those with qualifications but lacking in CV, job application, interview and interpersonal communication skills.

Sir George tutors may also identify something that is specifically lacking in a client's skill set, and therefore recommend another programme for them to attend.

"But for the qualified migrants it is sometimes as simple as learning the New Zealand way," Ms Scott said.

Doctors, lawyers and engineers have all completed the course, coming from as far away as Sri Lanka and Iraq. Course candidates come exclusively from Work and Income referrals.

With the present labour shortage, utilising migrants and refugees as a viable resource is more important than ever, Ms Scott said.

The next course is scheduled to begin 18 April.


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