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South Africans to help fill Kiwi skills shortage

Media release
July 10, 2008

South Africans to help fill Kiwi skills shortage

Leading navigation technology company Navman is aiming to solve its skills shortage by targeting well-qualified South Africans at an international recruitment Expo later this month.

Navman and other key employers and recruitment consultants in the IT, healthcare and engineering sectors are heading to Johannesburg for the first ever Opportunities New Zealand Expo on July 19 and 20.

More than 6000 potential migrants have registered to attend the event, with hundreds expected to secure employment and land on our shores in the coming year.

Navman is looking for software designers, engineers and testers to join its 100-strong in-car navigation business unit in Auckland.

Human resources manager, Kirsty Rutledge-Malyon, says it is increasingly difficult to get the people with the level of experience Navman needs in New Zealand, and the Opportunities New Zealand Expo is the ideal solution.

"We're hoping to fill at least 10 more positions at all levels. For us, the Expo allows us to make direct contact with people we know are well qualified, speak the language, have the similar work ethic to Kiwis and are keen to move."

Healthcare employers and recruitment consultants going to Johannesburg are aiming to fill a range of positions from doctors, registered nurses, physiotherapists, dentists and dieticians to speech therapists. Some have already had success recruiting at Opportunities New Zealand Expos in the UK.

The Selwyn Foundation is one of the biggest retirement facilities in the Southern Hemisphere and a regular expo exhibitor. Human resource manager Lorraine Sobotka says "a worldwide shortage of registered nurses means it is harder than ever to find people who want to care for the elderly".

There is such a high demand for experienced registered nurses that they have so many choices. It is an ongoing battle to get registered nurses for aged care in particular - it is a difficult sector and they have to be passionate about it," she says.

Being able to meet potential employees face to face and knowing that they have an equivalent qualification is what The Selwyn Foundation finds most valuable about the Opportunities New Zealand Expo.

Working In is on track for more than 30,000 highly skilled potential British and South African migrants to attend its five Opportunities New Zealand Expos in Johannesburg, London and Leeds this year. About 6000 of those are expected to secure employment and move here in the next 12 months.

Of more than 10,000 visitors to the two most recent Expos in the UK in April, 53% were aged 24-39, 18% were qualified to Masters, PhD or Postgraduate level, and the most popular sectors were engineering/construction (18%), healthcare (16%) trades (15%), IT/telecommunications (11%) and education (8%).

Working In has specialised in recruiting returning New Zealanders and new migrants to New Zealand since 1998 and works directly with Immigration New Zealand to identify skill shortages and seek recruits to fill those gaps.

"We work with some of New Zealand's largest companies and our relationship with Immigration New Zealand means we can quickly bring in skilled migrants to plug critical skill and knowledge gaps here," says Working In director and co-founder, Scott Mathieson.

"All potential recruits at our events have paid to come to the Expo and are committed to moving to New Zealand. They are highly qualified candidates who want to come here and have the experience that New Zealand needs."

Migration, banking, shipping and leading real estate organisations like Bayleys are also on hand with many migrants buying their future homes directly through the Expos.

"It's a complete package, supported by internet and print channels, that appeals to both employers and potential employees," says Mr Mathieson.

"We have appreciable and growing gaps in our knowledge and skills in New Zealand but our experience at Working In is that there is no shortage of skilled people wanting to come here and fill those gaps."

Please visit for a full list of roles employers are recruiting at the event and to find out more about the Opportunites New Zealand Expo.


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