23 Nov 2014

Aussie job prospects fading for expats

6:28 am on 23 November 2014

The chief executive of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce says he had seen hundreds of expat New Zealanders who are eager to return home as job prospects in Australia fade.

Michael Barnett was taking part in job fairs in Australia - the first in Perth this weekend.

The fairs are intended to lure Australian workers and expats to New Zealand to plug skills gaps in industries such as construction, engineering, and IT.

Mr Barnett said thousands of people have passed through his stall in Perth.

He said many are New Zealanders who moved to Australia when its economy was stronger, but now it was beginning to weaken, New Zealand is becoming more attractive, especially for construction work.

"They came across here when the New Zealand economy was a bit flat, the economy here in Western Australia was looking great, and now the table has turned.

"Many of them have got some great skills especially around the engineering, construction project management, and they're looking to being those skills back to New Zealand and it's what New Zealand needs."

Mr Barnett said overseas job fairs are an effective way of filling jobs here.

300714. Photo Diego Opatowski / RNZ. Steven Joyce  during a press conference regarding Novopay next steps.

Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says it is time for workers "donated" to Australia to come back. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

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