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Skilled Migrants Min (1)

Skilled Migrants

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Skilled Migrants

A Guide To Who We May Be Able To Assist

The employment market here in New Zealand

Most migrants will find the New Zealand employment market more buoyant than in your home country.  New Zealand has enjoyed a low unemployment rate for nearly three decades.  At least twice during that period, our unemployment rate was the worlds lowest, for an example in 2004 unemployment dropped to 3.4%.

Take a moment to click back into the migrant support menu where you will find employment statistics to the left of this page, we have recorded them since 2004.   You will find the consistency of low unemployment impressive and reassuring.

About the Guide

The following comments are a guide only, clearly, we do not take responsibility for the lack of employment should you not be able to locate a suitable vacancy. The comments are our opinion and should not constitute the entire foundations of your decision to move to New Zealand.

Mechanics, – Automotive Technicians and Diesel Mechanics, and Heavy Equipment Mechanics

Candidates employed in the area of technical skills are the easiest for us to assist.

Historically the shortage of mechanics has dated back to 1956 when training records began. The only brief periods of respite from these shortages have occurred during recessions.  Even in the most severe of recessions, the window of shortages has lasted less than 6 months.

Vehicle Sales Personnel Light and Heavy Diesel.

Vehicle Sales vacancies fluctuate: applicants need to be flexible as to location. You will need to be a top-class salesperson working in an authorised new vehicle dealership for us to help. You will need to be able to prove your skill.

A minimum of five years of industry knowledge is generally required and stable work history to accompany this.

The good news is that many larger New Zealand motor industry employers now have Immigration NZ accreditation.  This means, having proved there is a shortage in advance, as long as both the employer and yourself meet Immigration NZ criteria there is a good chance you may be able to enter New Zealand.  Let us introduce you to an immigration adviser once we have found your employment so they can advise on how this scheme works.

Sales Managers, Leasing Personnel, Finance and Insurance Sales

Light Automotive – Skilled Migrants in this category compete against local candidates for the roles. This means you need talent.  Assuming you have the talent we can often assist.

Heavy Diesel Sales Managers

While it is a little tougher to place offshore heavy diesel sales managers it is not impossible assuming you have the talent we are seeking but we will need to market your availability

Parts Personnel

Candidates without exception will require a minimum of five years of specific parts experience. You will also have to meet a minimum guaranteed salary threshold. Close and regular communication with your recruiter at Automotive Employment NZ Ltd is mandatory for us to work with you. You will also be encouraged to work with our recommended immigration adviser.

Technical Support Positions

Service advisers, warranty claims administrators, controllers etc are all candidates we can assist, provided your background is technical and you hold a recognised motor industry trade qualification.

Close and regular communication with your recruiter at Automotive Employment NZ Ltd is required as this market is changing presently. Non-technical qualified administrators will find work hard to secure.

After Sales Managers, Service Managers and Senior After Sales Roles

Skilled Migrants in this category, both automotive and heavy diesel compete against local candidates for the roles. This means you need talent. Assuming you have the talent we can often assist.

Positions with Automotive Distributors

While New Zealand has a very small vehicle manufacturing sector, we do have a representation of most manufacturers by way of distributorships. These are companies like Toyota, Holden [GM] Ford, Nissan, Hyundai, Mitsubishi, Honda, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Hino, Mack, Man, Scania, Caterpillar, etc to name a few.

While positions in this sector can prove difficult to locate we fill dozens of these roles each year, indeed we work with more Motor Industry National Distributors than any other recruitment company in New Zealand.

Roles with national distributors in New Zealand are sought though after so you will be competing against local talent to secure vacancies.

Executive and Management Roles – General Managers / Dealer Principals

Automotive Employment NZ represents a good percentage of these vacancies in New Zealand.

Gaining employment in this area is difficult, you will compete against local talent to secure employment with limited local knowledge.   None the less New Zealand dealerships throughout the country have a good number of managers and executives that have successfully secured senior roles here; a large of whom were placed by Automotive Employment NZ Ltd.

Manufacturing and Assembly Industries

As New Zealand does not have vehicle manufacturing facilities of comparable size to offshore companies gaining employment in the production engineering sectors is difficult.  There are a few roles that emerge with smaller companies in the heavy diesel sector, the majority of which manufacturer components or heavy trailers.  Some also assemble Trucks or Buses .

It is unlikely we can assist those job seekers employed in production engineering related roles.

Automotive Refinishers, Car Painters and Motor Body Repairers, Panel Beaters

We are often able to assist highly skilled employees in this category

Candidates with Excessive Movement Between Jobs

It is not possible to help everyone. New Zealand employers are particularly hard on those with transient employment histories; as a guide, if you have changed your employment four or five times in as many years it will prove difficult to secure employment in New Zealand even with sound reasons for this movement.

High-risk Countries

While we do our best to assist in these situations, if you are living in a country that Immigration New Zealand considers being a high risk in terms of potential for an overstay situation to occur, then it becomes difficult for us to gain the appropriate permits on your behalf through our licensed immigration adviser.

Comparable Experience

To gain offers of employment candidates require comparable experience if applying through our consultancy. This means the skills are equivalent to what a New Zealand skilled migrant possesses.

Many developing countries have a much older vehicle fleet than in New Zealand. If you live in a country where English is a second language and the vehicles and equipment on your roads differ substantially to the modern New Zealand fleet then it may be difficult for us to help even given our desire to assist.

Language Difficulties

In New Zealand, if you cannot speak fluent English you are unlikely to secure employment in your chosen area of the motor industry.


It is not impossible to locate employment as you mature in New Zealand.  A very positive factor to consider for the more mature is that New Zealanders are far more accepting of mature age workers than virtually any other country we have commercial dealings with.

None the less Immigration NZ do have age limits for skilled migrants, if in doubt to your eligibility check with your immigration consultant or have a quick chat to our team who will check for you.