Job expo offers Oz opportunities

By Gill South

Chance for Kiwis to meet actively hiring Australian businesses and discuss future job protects across Ditch

People queue up at one of the mining stalls during the Oz Jobs Expo. Photo / NZ Herald
People queue up at one of the mining stalls during the Oz Jobs Expo. Photo / NZ Herald

It is not often that you are able to meet a potential employer before applying for a job with their company. The OZ Jobs Expo, at the ASB Showgrounds this weekend, gives skilled Kiwis the opportunity to meet actively hiring Australian businesses and to discuss future job prospects with them.

"While there are fewer mining roles currently being recruited, the range of opportunities available is wider than previously and more diverse," says expo director Jason Clayton. Expo visitors can expect to hear about jobs in the pearling industry, construction, early childhood education, hospitality and tourism, medical and allied health, trades and services, transport and logistics, as well as a very diverse range of opportunities, from professional to semi skilled, in the Northern Territory and ACT.

This year the expo is bringing over Australian employers including Bechtel, the engineering, procurement and construction company; Goodstart, Australia's largest long day care provider; and Healthcare Imaging Services which currently operates over 150 imaging centres in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia.

There will be a presence of regional economic bodies such as the Northern Territory Department of Business and Employment which is expecting to see 20,000 jobs created in the region over the next five years. Expo visitors will also have the opportunity to meet some high profile hospitality providers such as Hamilton Island and the Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, which claims to be Australia's most environmentally responsible tourist destination set in the Greater Blue Mountain World Heritage Area.

"There are 20 different exhibitions at OZ Jobs Expo this year representing something for everyone, for those who are flexible and willing to go where the work is," says Clayton.

The organisers are expecting there to be around 5000 to 6000 prospective job candidates attending the show in Auckland this year and for almost 85 per cent of them to be aged between 25 and 45.

This age group of 25 and 45 has been in the work force and built up some work experience. They are the types of people Australian employers are looking for, says Clayton.

Unemployment rates in Australia are around 5.4 per cent. Some mining projects, a driver of jobs over the past few years, have been put on hold but this does not mean the businesses are not hiring, just in different areas, says Clayton.

Meanwhile, he says, an interesting company at the expo this year will be Paspaley, the largest pearling company in Australia. Based in Darwin, Paspaley also does ocean fishing and seafood farming.

Why is there still the draw for New Zealanders to work in Australia? The reasons don't change.

"Salaries in Australia are considerably higher than New Zealand, around 30 to 40 per cent higher. Also, basic goods are cheaper, food and fuel for instance," says Clayton.

The event director advises interested Kiwis who are applying for specific roles, to bring along a physical CV with them.

"It's an opportunity to meet fact to face with an employer before making a formal application," he says.

Visitors should prepare for the queues at the employers' stands, warns the director. "I would encourage people to come early, there is a constant flow of visitors during the weekend."

New Zealanders intending to work in Australia can also consult with a number of organisations at the expo who will help them make the move across the Tasman.

"There are a number of service companies at this year's expo providing information about the most cost effective ways to relocate to Australia," says Clayton. These include Australian banks who can open bank accounts for people on the day, foreign exchange specialists providing the most cost effective currency conversion, immigration and visa advice for non-NZ passport holders.

Massey University will also offer advice on further education.

Tickets to the expo are $15 a person, if bought online.

Employers Recruiting at OZ Jobs Expo March 16, 17 include

* Bechtel
* Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort & Spa
* Goodstart Early Learning
* Greyhound Australia
* Hamilton Island
* Healthcare Imaging Services
* Living in Canberra, Australia's Capital - ACT Government
* Northern Territory - Department of Business and Employment
* Paspaley Pearling Company
* Primary Health Care
* Queensland Diagnostic Imaging
* Warrigal Care

- NZ Herald

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