The MSD was established in late 2001 to provide social policy advice to the New Zealand Government and deliver income support and employment services to New Zealanders (which it does to over a million people). The offices of the Ministry are called Work and Income.
Work and Income has, in government-speak, ‘a focus on getting people into employment and gaining independence’. It recommends that job applicants should spend at least 11 hours per week looking for work and should contact Work and Income at least once every two weeks.
When people enrol with Work and Income, they’re sometimes asked to make a Job Seeker Agreement, which sets out their responsibilities and an agreed plan to help them prepare for work. People caring for a child under 14 aren’t asked to look for full-time work, but might be asked to seek part-time employment or prepare for future work.
Work and Income runs a Job Bank., an online tool which job seekers can access from computers at Work and Income service centres. It’s updated every half an hour with new jobs by employers throughout New Zealand. Work and Income also offers help with job applications, writing CVs and training, and provides many helpful brochures such as Getting Work Skills and Experience and Need Help to Find Work?, which can be downloaded from the website. The head office of Work and Income is at Level 8, Bowen State Building, Bowen Street, PO Box 12-136, Wellington (freephone 0800-559 009 or 09-916 3300, www.workandincome.govt.nz).
There are many organisations in New Zealand that can help find you a job. They can be broadly divided into recruitment consultants and employment agencies. Recruitment consultants tend to specialise in skilled, professional and executive jobs, while employment agencies handle all kinds of jobs, including unskilled and temporary jobs.
You can find local recruitment consultants and employment agencies by looking in the yellow pages, available at major libraries and in the reading rooms of some New Zealand Consulates and High Commissions overseas, or on the yellow pages website (www.yellowpages.co.nz). Employment agencies are also listed on the New Zealand Immigration Service website (www.immigration.govt.nz). Some immigration consultants can arrange an introduction to recruitment agencies.
Both recruitment consultants and employment agencies are engaged by employers to fill vacancies and therefore don’t charge you for finding you a job (they’re finding an employee for the employer, not vice versa). Other services such as compiling CVs and counselling may be offered, for which you may be charged, so check in advance.
Some recruitment consultancies have offices abroad, and if you plan to use them it pays to make a few simple checks before doing so. For example, the law of your home country may permit them to make a charge for finding you a job or even for simply registering your details. Also check exactly what they will do for you. A recruitment consultant who merely sends your CV to prospective employers is unlikely to find you a job, whereas a consultant with employers on his books in the industry in which you want to work (ask for proof) could prove to be a useful contact. Among the largest recruitment agencies are: