INDEPENDENT NEWS

Home Is Where The Heart Is - Not The Dollars

Published: Thu 19 Jul 2001 11:00 AM
Those who have returned to NZ after working overseas are looking for the “good life” with family and friends, according to the results of a recent on-line survey by leading recruitment company, TMP Worldwide.
TMP Worldwide has established the regular on-line surveys to monitor both recruitment specific and general trends.
The survey asked 750 people a series of questions on the reasons for working in NZ and for working overseas.
Lifestyle factors such as the easy access to outdoor pursuits (82%), reduced commuting and travel time (36%) and the favourable climate and environment (60%) were listed as the attractive features that brought expats home.
“However, the reasons New Zealanders gave for leaving to work overseas re-inforce the compelling argument that New Zealand needs to look hard at ways to retain skilled people remain here and how to promote New Zealand so that it becomes an attractive stop off point for the travelling Global Talent pool,” says National Director of Strategy TMP Worldwide eResourcing, Dr Kaye McAulay.
“The promise of higher remuneration, a broader variety of roles and more challenging projects are the recurring reasons cited by respondees for taking up work opportunities overseas. Many stated that the lure of the high dollars being offered off-shore were an incentive to go and earn money to pay off student loans and to save for mortgages.”
“High income earners - the skilled people that New Zealand needs to move towards economic prosperity - responded that escaping domestic high tax rates was an incentive to work off-shore, Dr McAulay says.
Questioned whether overseas work experience increased employment opportunities available to returned job seekers in New Zealand there was a surprising tie in results. Whilst 33% thought their overseas experience held them in good stead when it came to job hunting, an equal measure (32%) felt they were no more marketable than the next job hunter after their time working overseas.
In terms of NZ as a working destination, the survey gathered a significant number of comments indicating that respondees found jobs here more attractive than jobs in larger overseas markets. This was due to the wider scope of roles in New Zealand due to a relative lack of specialisation.
The survey showed that respondees felt it was primarily the role of New Zealand employers (48%) followed by the Government (34%) to attract talent to New Zealand.
“Auckland University with support from the Government will be looking at ways of building a knowledge economy in a key conference this coming August,” Dr McAulay says.
Respondents offered suggestions for the Government to reduce the cost of tertiary education, to better recognise the qualifications of immigrants, to reduce the tax on higher incomes and look at an apprenticeship system for recent graduates who could not find work.
“The traditional “OE” destination of the UK still attracts Kiwis looking to work overseas with 56% of respondees who have already worked outside NZ having done so in the UK followed by Australia (53%), USA (28%) and Asia (21%). The pool of countries available for New Zealanders to work in is growing as more countries open their doors to skilled workers. In the last year alone, Italy, Sweden, Holland and France have joined the more traditional Commonwealth “OE” destinations as being places that New Zealanders can acquire working visas,” says Dr McAulay
“We are aware of at least 80,000 New Zealanders in Great Britain who are registered with Monster.com. Industry and Government must assist with developing strategies to attract the talent back here.”
Ends

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