Every week Michael Sami has to turn away migrants and foreign students who show up at his shop desperate for work.

Some have cried and broken down in front of him when he tells them he has no openings, the Choice Food and Spices manager says.

''They are devastated because I don't have any jobs. I have to tell them 'sorry, we can't help you'.''

Most often those seeking work were students on visas studying for business management-type qualifications that were eligible to work 20 hours a week.


''A lot of them are ending up in the kiwifruit industry and out on the orchards.

''It's not easy over here with the cost of living going up daily and they need jobs to support themselves. Tauranga is not a very big city.''

He said language was also a barrier which made it difficult to find work suited to their qualifications.

In India, New Zealand was marketed as a place to go on a student visa which could provide the pathway to residency ''but that is not the case''.

Mr Sami, who is originally from India, said he felt for those struggling to find work.

Damanjit Singh did a business management qualification in Tauranga at Ntec and is now a supervisor in the kiwifruit industry.

The 23-year-old from India said he had worked his way up over several years and initially started picking kiwifruit.

He hoped to stay in New Zealand for a ''better future'' but said his dream job would be one more suited to his qualification. However, that was a struggle.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Settling in New Zealand 2015 migrant study, published in May, said 23 per cent of migrants surveyed found it difficult to get work because of their English-language struggles.

The survey found that six in 10 migrants felt someone had treated them unfairly at least once or twice because they came from overseas and 48 per cent said they had encountered discrimination at work.

Bay of Plenty Chinese Business and Commerce Association president Candy Yan said although Kiwis were friendly and helpful in many ways, it appeared some employers were reluctant to hire migrants.

''It seems like we get a limited chance for jobs."

Kiwis could work on being more inclusive, actively including new migrants in their community, she said.

Tauranga Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stan Gregec said the comments expressed by Yan were "on the mark'' and on September 25 the chamber was starting a three-day programme to help migrants find work.

Immigration NZ had also teamed up with the Tauranga City Council, Western Bay of Plenty District Council and other partners to drive a Welcoming Communities pilot programme.

But it was a two-way street when it came to addressing the problem, Mr Gregec said.

That meant migrants learning and fitting in with the Kiwi way of doing things, ''down to the language they use and the type of CV they put up", he said.

Immigration NZ settlement national manager Judi Altinkaya said when a migrant applied for a resident visa they needed to be able to speak and understand a minimum standard of English.

The Tauranga/Mount area has four approved pre-pay providers for tuition.

New Kiwi Career Success Course
* The Tauranga Chamber of Commerce is running the first of four, free three day courses from September 25 to September 27.
* It is designed to help new migrants better understand the New Zealand employment landscape, and how they can package and present themselves to respond to opportunities.
* Topics covered included everything from practical job search advice to a Kiwi- style CV and how to answer those tricky interview questions.
* It is a New Zealand Government-funded scheme, delivered jointly by the Auckland and Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.
* Course is open to new migrants that had arrived in New Zealand within the past two years and is eligible to work in New Zealand.

For more information and to register search at www.newkiwis.co.nz

Read tomorrow about the Welcoming Communities pilot programme.