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International students targeted for city jobs


author:Otago Daily Times

A new jobs initiative aims to keep more of Dunedin's 3000 international students in the city for longer.

The Dunedin City Council and its partners, the University of Otago and Otago Polytechnic, yesterday announced plans for a new Job Ready Programme in Dunedin.

The aim was to link Dunedin's international students with the city's businesses and employers, to help more of the students find jobs and retain their skills in Dunedin.

Enterprise Dunedin export education co-ordinator Sarah Gauthier said the initiative was a ''win-win'' that would benefit the city, its employers and students.

Employers would be able to tap into the skills of the city's international student body, many of whom wanted to stay, she said.

''Many international students dream of continuing their careers and lives in New Zealand, but lack the contacts and specific skills for local employment contexts, to help them transition from study to work,'' she said.

At the same time, New Zealand made ''significant investments'' in growing its international student market, and those who completed their studies represented ''a fantastic opportunity''.

''In Dunedin, our tertiary institutions educate highly capable students and their internationalised perspectives could help businesses grow into new markets,'' she said.

A Get Connected networking event would be held in Dunedin on September 4 to introduce employers to graduates of the seminar-based Job Ready Programme, she said.

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse, a Dunedin-based list MP, would speak at the event.

The programme was being piloted in Dunedin with support from Education New Zealand, and employers were encouraged to make contact if they were interested in participating, Ms Gauthier said.

EduSearch.co.nz 2012