New Zealand employers are missing out on a big opportunity with Indian workers

An article in the New Zealand Herald last week cited a Massey and Waikato University study that concluded English-speaking, highly skilled Indian migrants find it difficult to get employment in New Zealand.

Woburn International has worked with many Indian migrants over the past 21 years and can confirm that there appears to be some misguided opinion from New Zealand employers in regards to Indian migrants. Many of the Indian job-seekers study in New Zealand Universities, speak perfect English (in many cases better than your stereotypical Kiwi), are highly skilled and try hard to adopt the ‘kiwi’ culture. Despite their qualifications and fluency in English they are unable to find jobs and suffer prejudice’s that European migrants do not.

Woburn International believes that New Zealand employers, by not employing Indian workers are missing out on a significant opportunity. From our experience, Indian workers are loyal and hard working. We have placed a number of Indian workers in New Zealand companies and even employ an Indian in our home office. We acknowledge it has been difficult getting Indian migrants through the door of New Zealand businesses, but have had nothing but positive feedback from their employers.

The challenge is that employers perceive cultural differences of migrants as a risk, and are afraid of working through some challenges this may impose on their organisations. Cultural diversity is nevertheless an asset in many roles. New Zealand is facing severe skill shortages. If an Indian skilled migrant has the qualifications to fit into one of the skill shortage areas, why not offer them the position? Employers should be prepared to embrace the diversity that Indian workers bring with them, we learn from each other and, recruiting Indian people into roles that are a good fit for their cultural and individual traits is a very good investment for an employer.