Migrants break through language barrier
Any university graduate will tell you how difficult it can be to find a job in today’s workforce.
For migrants and second language speakers new to New Zealand, the difficulties are much greater.
English Language Partners New Zealand is trying to make the transition easier.
Work Talk is its new workshop designed to equip migrants with essential job seeking communication skills.
Lessons cover reading job descriptions, learning work culture and conducting interviews.
Hong Pan, known as Janie, was a member of the inaugural workshop at English Learning Partner’s Takapuna branch.
Pan moved to Albany from China with a master’s degree in software engineering, alongside 10 years of working experience.
Seven months of unsuccessful interviews left her feeling depressed and she labelled herself a failure.
‘‘I passed the technical examinations easily, but I was too nervous to try and answer questions in the interview,’’ Pan says.
‘‘I was frustrated because I have the knowledge, but I can’t express myself.
‘‘I knew then I had to learn better English if I wanted to get a job.’’
Pan is not unique in her situation.
Migrant Skills Retention manager Grant Power says migrants are ‘‘more likely to be highly
‘‘I had to learn better English if I wanted to get a job.’’
qualified than the New Zealand born population’’.
According to Immigration New Zealand, current trends shows Auckland is welcoming highly qualified migrants.
The percentage of overseas born people living in Auckland with a bachelor’s degree or higher is 29 per cent, slightly higher to 21 per cent of Kiwi born Aucklanders.
It also states that Auckland’s economy will continue to rely on offshore skills.
English Language Partners manager Mabel Msopero says migrants should be able to pursue work for themselves and their families.
‘‘We help progress them through the whole system from everyday English, to work talk, to after care help,’’ Msopero says.
Hong Pan was one of the first pupils at a new workshop designed to help migrants seeking jobs.