Creating New Zealand work-ready employees with Work Connect

Migrant futures model male

Work Connect is a free programme to help international students and skilled migrants prepare for the New Zealand job market. The programme is available in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch. Participants value the support Work Connect offers, and are often successful in securing work.

“Our Work Connect coaches help bridge the gap between the skills clients have and the way they present themselves to employers. Clients often need guidance in applying for jobs that match their skills,” says Navazesh Smith, Senior Advisor for Migrant Futures. 

“We support our clients throughout the job search process by teaching them how to make a good impression and build their employability skills. Employers can then feel confident they have found the right fit for their company.

“Through our mix of one-to-one coaching and group sessions, skilled migrants and their partners are assisted every step of the way – from how to create a CV and cover letter to job search and interview techniques,” says Navazesh.

Sahana’s determination and commitment lands her a job

Sahana Rao is a Work Connect client who recently secured a role at NZ Health Partnerships as a treasury and finance support analyst – a role relevant to her skills, experience and qualifications.

Sahana was very motivated and spent many hours preparing for her interviews. Motivation is often the key factor in giving candidates the winning edge. If they have the right attitude and are willing to listen and act on tips from their coaches, they are already ahead of the game.

Navazesh Smith, Senior Advisor, Migrant Futures

Sahana credits the Work Connect programme with changing her approach to job searching and making applications. It also boosted her confidence and improved her interview skills with mock interviews. These skills, along with the support and guidance of her mentor, helped Sahana overcome the challenge of employers not considering her because of her overseas work experience and qualifications.

What knowledge and skills did Sahana develop during the Work Connect programme that helped her nail this job? She says it was learning to identify and apply for roles specific to her skills and qualifications, tailoring her CV accordingly and performing well at the interview.

Sahana also credits the organisation that hired her. “I am lucky to have come across employers who identified my skills and potential and gave me the opportunity to work for their organisation.”

Amol’s interview practice made all the difference 

Amol Patil is another skilled migrant who recently secured a fixed-term job at Westforce Credit Union, Avondale in web development – his field of expertise. 

“Amol came to us with four year’s IT experience on a very specific platform and was looking to gain employment in this field,” says Navazesh. 

“While he was very proactive, he wasn’t sure about the right way to approach employers in New Zealand and this was hampering his efforts. Attending the job search workshops and having three one-to-one sessions with a mentor to review his CV and cover letter, practise interview techniques and learn how to apply for jobs online, helped him immensely.”

The Work Connect programme enabled Amol to secure a phone interview with an employer in his field of expertise. This was followed by an opportunity to solve a series of IT-related problems to showcase his skills. Amol did very well, but then found out the employer wasn’t filling the position at that time.

“Amol did not take this dismissal as the final word. He emailed the employer back and gave reasons why they should take him on – even offering to demonstrate his skills as a volunteer to start with. The employer agreed and Amol began work! 

“Amol’s persistence demonstrates that you don’t always have to take no for an answer and sometimes an extra push is all that is needed to secure the role you’re after,” says Navazesh.

Amol said of his job hunting, “I think New Zealand employers like applicants to take that first step and approach them. It’s totally new to me.” After learning how to approach employers, Amol said the interview practice session was a particularly valuable part of the Work Connect programme as “it helped me to get the job.”

“The key to our success is that our consultants are truly passionate about helping migrants. They go the extra mile to take their individual needs and barriers into account and build a strong rapport. This helps the migrants understand what they should work at – be it their approach to job searching, communication, role-plays or demonstrating their skills in a confident manner,” adds Navazesh.

Work Connect programme

Work Connect is a free 10-hour programme to help skilled migrants, partners of skilled migrants and international student graduates (Level 7 and above) prepare for the New Zealand job market.

Work Connect supports participants with personalised coaching and mentoring to help them find a job that suits their skills, experience and qualifications.

The Work Connect programme is available in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.

Eligibility criteria apply. Find out more and apply now.