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'NZ Indians face job discrimination'

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 13:48 IST
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Indians in New Zealand face job discrimination up to 10 times or more compared to New Zealanders, a survey has found.

Almost two in every three Indians (63 per cent) felt they have been discriminated in the recruitment process or at work, according to the survey by the Global Indian magazine.

An Indian in New Zealand is likely to be in an administrative or physical job and be underpaid. The survey revealed that three in four (72 per cent) Indians felt their career has been adversely affected after migrating to New Zealand.

One in two Indians said they have never been promoted in a job in New Zealand. Two in three Indians feel that their salary is not in line with their qualifications and skills. One said that he had not had a permanent job for the past 12 years.

"I did not get one promotion in the last 10 years. I am in a Catch-22 situation because my kids are schooling in New Zealand. Now I am unable to go back to India as I have to wait for them to finish their schooling," another respondent said.

The salary levels of Indians in this country indicate that almost a third of Indians earn less than NZ$ 40,000 (about $26,000) a year while half of all Indians earn less than NZ$50,000.

Referring to the 'No Kiwi experience' cited by many recruiters, one respondent said that this effectively meant that Indians in New Zealand face the prospect of not being allowed into water until they learn how to swim.

The survey, which was conducted among 232 Indians in New Zealand, also found that every third Indian is employed in physical, administrative, secretarial or customer service role.

However, the survey also highlighted a minority group in the Indian community that has fought against all odds to achieve their goals.

"In the beginning, yes, I felt my career was adversely affected. However, things have got better as the Kiwis became more aware that Indians could speak English and were hardworking, sincere and loyal," one respondent said.

"And thanks to us Indians who have proved to the doubtful Kiwis that we actually speak the Queen's English with good pronunciation, correct spelling and are not lazy speakers."

The respondents cited a need for employers, the immigration service, and migrants to develop solutions to address the issue.

"(There is a need for) cross-cultural training and diversity management skills among management personnel (not HR departments alone)," one respondent said.

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