Job Hunting Overseas Kiwis Can Fill NZ Talent Shortage

Press Release – Kea New Zealand

Kea New Zealand’s five-yearly ‘census’ Every Kiwi Counts 2011 shows there is significant potential to help fill New Zealand’s talent deficit with highly educated, well connected overseas Kiwis who are planning to return home.Job Hunting Overseas Kiwis Can Fill NZ Talent Shortage

Kea New Zealand’s five-yearly ‘census’ Every Kiwi Counts 2011 shows there is significant potential to help fill New Zealand’s talent deficit with highly educated, well connected overseas Kiwis who are planning to return home.

According to the on-line survey of over 15,000 New Zealanders living offshore, 27% of respondents are currently looking for jobs in New Zealand for themselves or others.

Kea New Zealand Global CEO Dr Sue Watson says of the results: “Our overseas respondents are not only searching for employment in New Zealand, they are also seven times as likely as those living here to have a post-graduate qualification. These results are showing us there is a real opportunity to reconnect with this talent pool of global Kiwis for the benefit of the New Zealand economy.”

Kea New Zealand’s Every Kiwi Counts 2011 survey found:

• Compared to on-shore New Zealanders in the 2006 Census, the overseas Kiwis surveyed are about seven times as likely (34% v 5%) to have a post-graduate qualification and almost three times as likely (31% v 11%) to have a Bachelor’s degree.

• Only 1% of overseas Kiwis say they have no formal qualifications, compared with nearly one quarter (24%) of New Zealand residents who say the same.

• Nearly 46% of overseas-based Kiwis in the survey report that they earn over NZ$100,000 per annum while one in five (21%) aged over 50 earn more than NZ$200,000 per annum.

• Only a small minority of returning Kiwis plan to move back to New Zealand for general economic reasons (6%) while over 60% of returning Kiwis list family, lifestyle and the fact that New Zealand is ‘home’ as being main reasons for coming back to NZ.

• One in four respondents say they plan to return to New Zealand, but that they also plan to live somewhere else in the future. A further 22% say they are likely to – or definitely will – return to New Zealand.

Dr Watson says: “We now know that over a quarter of overseas New Zealanders are actively looking for jobs for themselves or others in New Zealand, so there is a large connection and communication job to be done if we are to entice those Kiwis looking to return home.

“Kea New Zealand recognises that there is a need to help address the New Zealand talent shortage by matching employers who recognise the value of highly skilled expats with job seekers. We have developed Kea Jobs, which is an on-line job community aimed at matching great jobs with our network of over 32,000 talented overseas New Zealanders.

“Despite the interest in jobs in New Zealand, Every Kiwi Counts 2011 also found that less than one-quarter of overseas Kiwis plan to return to live in New Zealand permanently, which is why Kea also runs an active network enabling offshore New Zealanders to build tangible, constructive connections with home,” explains Dr Watson.

At least 600,000 New Zealanders live overseas including almost one in four of all highly educated Kiwis. This is the highest proportion of any OECD-member nation, so New Zealand has more to gain than any other developed country from connecting with its successful citizens overseas and turning their connections and knowledge into a strategic national asset.

Ministry of Economic Development deputy secretary Mark Steel said: “New Zealand has a vast array of talent living overseas but now we know many of them would like to return and are even actively job hunting. Expats are a quarter of our educated workforce so it’s important that we understand their short-term goals and long-term ambitions so we know what they can contribute if they return. The Every Kiwi Counts survey plays a vital role in this.”

Kea New Zealand acknowledged the contribution made by Air New Zealand (principal sponsor of Every Kiwi Counts 2011) and Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED) – the project’s other major sponsor.

• To read the full report Every Kiwi Counts 2011 please visit www.keanewzealand.com/ekc2 • For further information about Kea NZ, please visit www.keanewzealand.com • For further information about Kea NZ Jobs, please visit www.keajobs.com

ENDS

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