New report reveals some Kiwi ex-pats fear being overqualified when returning home

  • 07/04/2022

Some highly skilled Kiwi ex-pats who want to return home fear being overqualified, a new report has revealed

The report by Kea, which was commissioned last year by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE), spoke to Kiwi ex-pats after the Government signalled the opening up of New Zealand's borders.

Kea chief executive Toni Truslove told AM many Kiwi ex-pats judged the closure of New Zealand's borders "harshly".

"What the report showed is that yes there are absolutely still some Kiwis wanting to come home but we do have a reconnection job to do with them. 

Truslove told AM jobs are a key driver in ex-pats returning but says New Zealand employers need to match the global market.  

"[That means] really appreciating the global skills and experience that these Kiwis are coming home with, so how they can be utilised to help New Zealand companies." 

But Truslove said the feeling among ex-pats that their skills aren't valued isn't new.

"Even before the borders closed, there was this perception of Kiwis coming home that employers weren't valuing their global skills, they were often being asked about their New Zealand-based experience."  

Truslove told AM some participants in the survey missed out on job opportunities because they didn't have any recent New Zealand experience. 

"For us, that is just such a travesty because these Kiwis are so highly skilled and they would bring so much back to New Zealand companies."

One participant said they were so overqualified they considered lying on their CV to get a job.

The survey revealed many ex-pats aren't worried about their salary but more about reconnecting with their family and New Zealand culture.