Case Study: Andy Dickson - Ceiling Fixer - Work Visa /Skilled Migrant Category Residency Visa

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Where did you first hear about the need for your skills as a Ceiling Fixer in New Zealand?

The local evening newspaper had an advert in the advertising page almost every night, the advert always caught my eye, especially that there was a demand for tradesmen in New Zealand for overseas workers, my own trade being a Ceiling Fixer was on the shortage list and there would be Seminars held locally soon.

what appealed to you about New Zealand?

To be honest I didn't know too much about New Zealand at the time other than they were a phenomenal rugby team with a crazy Haka dance that made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up while watching it, but my father spoke about New Zealand a lot, he always wanted to visit, of course it was known worldwide as being a beautiful country and voted as one of top three in the world. I also knew from research that it was compared to Scotland with the scenery,  now that's beautiful! I also remember well the Christchurch earthquakes being all over the news in 2011, I fancied the idea of applying my trade helping out the people of Christchurch as well as settling down somewhere new, somewhere nice.

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What initial steps did you take?

I bought a ticket for the This is New Zealand Seminar in Glasgow which was being held a week later. I went along to hopefully find out more about New Zealand, more about Job opportunities and hopefully meet with the guys personally to answer some of my personal questions. it all worked out well, I took a lot of info home with me and had the pleasure to spend time with Borey and Mark, who was working with NZ Skills in Demand at the time.

Did you find the Seminar useful?

Absolutely! so glad I made it. I thought the Seminar was great, I spoke with reps from other settlement services partners, who were able to help out with information such as banking, insurance, shipping, money transfer etc, all the things you wonder about if you were to make a move, it was all there. Most importantly I managed to speak with Borey and Mark afterwards to have a friendly discussion and exchange details.

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Tell us about the process of a getting a job offer, did NZ Skills in Demand work with you? Were you interviewed via Skype?

NZ Skills In Demand were in contact with me straight away, they were willing to help me out all the way as soon as I told them I was serious about making a move, they were great! There was no pressure whatsoever, all the hard work you would usually expect from making a move or applying for work overseas was made so much easier. After I provided some paperwork and some documents I was contacted by Mark from Skills In Demand to say a NZ recruiter had checked out my paperwork and were willing to give me a job interview which would be done through Skype. Now things are getting real! It was all happening so fast, I was buzzing, this interview alone could change my life. The recruiter had now been in touch a day or two later to arrange a time. Yes I was nervous, it's an interview! The interviewer made it easy, I felt comfortable during the interview, she done well....then BOOM! I had a job offer the following day, it was all happening now.

Couldn't believe it.

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How long did the whole process take from attending TINZ seminar to arriving in New Zealand?

To be fair it certainly took next to no time at all, after getting a job offer I was dealing with Borey and Rachael at Migration Associates in order to obtain my visa, again there now another mission of paperwork to sort but I didn't feel any pressure, the team were helping out all the way. I attended my Seminar in June 2014, I think we got the ball rolling around July/August 2014. I landed on NZ soil in September 2015, a quick year that was!

How are you finding working and living in New Zealand compared to Scotland?

Mmm that's a tough one! actually I'm joking, there's no comparison, New Zealand wins by a mile, working here in construction is no breeze but it's the simple things in life that make it all worth it, we work with beautiful weather most of the year and a lot of multi cultural workers who all seem so happy, friendly, laid back and have the happy go lucky attitude. I actually don't mind getting up early for work, such a difference from the Scotland... ( which wouldn't be hard ) not only construction but everyone seems happy no matter what your job is.... I moved here on my own, didn't know a single person, I've met so many great new friends and loving my time here.

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Any advice for anyone thinking of making a move to NZ?

For anyone thinking of making a move then don't think too long, go for it! It's a magical opportunity, of course once you're here then please give it some time to adjust, maybe take a few months, probably a bit longer, it's a whole different lifestyle, a better one at that! Took me a year before I realised this was it! I've now gained my residency this year and I'm loving life, best thing I've ever done.

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