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Kiwi Workers Reluctant To Make Business Trips Across The Ditch Despite Trans-Tasman Bubble Opening

When the trans-Tasman travel bubble opens today, many Kiwi companies won't be rushing to buy an air ticket, reluctant to cross the ditch to do business.

The latest survey conducted by leading recruitment agency, Frog Recruitment of nearly 1,000 New Zealand businesses, found the majority (82.6%) of those polled are not considering a business trip to Australia any time soon and only 8.2% of respondents are planning a work jaunt across the Tasman.

Frog Recruitment has offices in Auckland, Wellington and five Australian states. Managing director Shannon Barlow says there’s a high level of hesitancy in the business community about overseas travel.

“Our clients and candidates are adopting a ‘wait and see’ position. No-one wants to get stuck in Australia if the borders suddenly close – that would be disastrous for many people.”

The poll’s results also revealed that Kiwis are not clamouring to move to Australia for work, with 87.8% of those polled saying they wouldn’t consider a move across the ditch in the next 12 months to take up a new role.

“Historically Australia has been accused of leading the ‘brain drain’ of skilled workers from New Zealand. New Zealand has earned a global reputation for its handling of COVID-19 and the poll results reflect a majority of people are happy to remain living and working in this country. The balance might have been redressed and it will be interesting to see if the pandemic fallout has impacted the number of people migrating to Australia.”

For employers, attracting current and future employees from Australia is on the agenda, with more than 30% saying they are actively promoting roles to our trans-Tasman neighbours.

“Business confidence is strong - 78% of New Zealand employers we talked to in March and April expect steady or rapid growth this year,” says Shannon. “In this optimistic landscape there will be more employment opportunities opening up in 2021 - and we may well see these trends change as people move between countries again,” said Barlow.

“The business travel bubble may have burst right now, but that could change and we’ll see it fizzing again in the coming 12 months.”

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