Govt increase int. students’ access to job markets

Published: Mon 6 Nov 2006 08:10 AM
Govt should increase international students’ access to job market
If Labour was serious about making New Zealand more attractive to international students it would make it easier for them to gain work experience while they are here, says National Party Associate Education spokeswoman Pansy Wong.
Her comments follow reports today of one Auckland employment agency’s move to charge international students 20% of their first year’s salary for job placement.
“The fact that some students were willing to go along with this shows just how desperate they are to gain work and life experience while they are in New Zealand,” says Mrs Wong, who has responsibility for international education.
“International education agencies in Australia and Britain acknowledge the importance of work experience and residency possibilities as factors for students looking to study abroad.
“But Labour is yet to adopt a coherent strategy between international education, immigration and the Labour market. The year of the export is a joke when the Government totally overlooks export education – our fifth largest export earner.
“As we face the worst skills shortage in a quarter of a century, the Government is mad not to increase international students’ access to the Labour market.
“If they want to work and are capable of working, we should make it easier for them.”
Mrs Wong says some of the barriers facing international students seeking employment are:
The six month open job search visa which is too short a duration for jobseekers.
Lack of a 90-day probationary period to encourage employers to give these students a chance.
Employers’ general lack of knowledge and confidence in the Immigration Service to provide timely decisions where work and residency visas are concerned.

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