In the Speech from the Throne, delivered Tuesday, New Zealand Governor-General Sir Jerry Mateparae said the Government would arrange international job fairs, “to recruit skilled expatriate New Zealanders to return home and work in areas where there are shortages.”
“Job fairs will complement the Government’s skills training program here in New Zealand, which involves strengthening and improving foundation learning, vocational training and tertiary education,” he said.
According to Statistics New Zealand, 15,000 New Zealanders returned to the country from Australia alone in the last 12 months. While this was higher than the average annual gain of 11,700 over the past 20 years, it still falls well short of the 25,000 New Zealanders who move to Australia annually.
Those workers are also increasingly making the trek to Canada and the U.S., with some employers – especially those in the construction sector – actively soliciting their interest.
That may be a tougher sell if New Zealand gets its wal.
The government’s investment in the job fairs program for New Zealand employers will be “in the hundreds of thousands [of dollars]”, confirmed Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.
“It won't be in the millions category and it will be over a period of time,” he said.
“It's just to assist companies with a process where we really want to see them have that opportunity to grow.”
The New Zealand government is planning to lure Kiwis back from across the pond with a series of job fairs throughout Australia, designed to help New Zealand employers recruit skilled expatriate New Zealanders back home.