Dire euro straits bring Kiwis home
The appeal of the relatively healthy New Zealand economy is luring expats back in the thousands, helped along by one of the worst European recessions since the Second World War.
That's according to TrackMeBack, an online jobs community that helps expats find work in New Zealand and Australia.
The site said its business has tripled since 2010, when Europe's sovereign debt crisis started in earnest.
That's backed by UK Home Office data which showed the number of kiwis entering the UK to work has fallen by 40 per cent over the past three years - a reversal of the decades old brain drain to Europe.
"We see a whole range of candidates but our typical returning expat is degree qualified with ten or more years' professional experience, with at least half of that being gained overseas," said Caroline Rafferty, the site's general manager.
TrackMeback said the sectors attracting the most attention from returnees are mining, resources, engineering, energy, digital media, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, trades, construction and insurance.
The appeal of the Antipodes is clear - the New Zealand economy grew at a 2.4 per cent pace in the year to March 31 and Australia's economy expanded by 4.3 per cent.
Meanwhile the UK's economy shrank by 0.2 per cent over the same period and the eurozone slowed by 0.1 per cent.
TrackMeBack said it expects the trend to gain momentum in the coming months, particularly in the construction sector with the Christchurch rebuild, although it also sees a wealth of talent coming on line for insurance, retail, healthcare, management consulting and digital media firms.
"When you combine a stalling European economy with tighter UK visa restrictions for Kiwi migrants the case for returning home is pretty compelling for a lot expats," Rafferty said.
TrackMeBack said its New Zealand clients include BNZ, the Department of Labour and electricity firm Transpower.
- © Fairfax NZ News