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Ask a Recruiter: “I’ve been working in an OSH role in the UK for 10 years and am considering a move to New Zealand. Could you advise on what I need to do?”

Published on: 31 Mar 2020

“I’ve been working in an OSH role in the UK for 10 years and am considering a move to New Zealand. Could you advise on what I need to do?”


Firstly, it’s important to determine if you are relocating for the right reasons. International mobility often provides a fantastic opportunity to broaden your experience both professionally and personally. Ask yourself, what are you hoping to gain from this opportunity? Is it career enhancement, a lifestyle change or the appeal of gaining global experience? Once you know your objectives, you can weigh up whether a relocation and new role will meet them.


For health and safety professionals, legislations in New Zealand and Australia are based on UK systems, laws and processes. So if you have a number of years’ experience in the UK sector, a transition to working over there will be quite smooth. It’s recommended to read up and research specific legislation in New Zealand, however, if you’ve worked in a number of roles in the UK and gained good experience in management systems, your skills will be welcomed.


Before researching roles and companies, you’ll need to adapt your CV to reflect your experience here in the UK. Just as every CV and cover letter you write needs to be tailored to the role and company you are applying for, it is equally important that it is also targeted to meet the unique requirements of that country. New Zealand employers require a similar CV to that of the UK. Make sure to keep your experience to 2-3 pages long, and detail how your skills will be transferable.


When it comes to tailoring your CV to a specific company or role in New Zealand, research the organisation’s track record on health and safety to see what management standards they have in place, any awards they have won, their commitment to environmental issues and current and previous projects, then ensure you refer to any relevant, specific experience you have on your CV that aligns with the organisation’s interests.


In terms of qualifications, candidates with a number of qualifications and those with chartered status are more likely to be receive better salaries and opportunities in New Zealand, which is in line with the current outlook in the UK.


It’s also important to research the skills currently in demand before your move, and what visa you’ll likely need to apply for. There are several different visas for people who are going to New Zealand to work, including an essential skills visa aimed at highly qualified workers aged under 55 who can fill shortage skills and a working holiday visa for under-30s. The New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment releases an annual review of essential skills in demand, so it is worthwhile cross referencing this to know in what sector health and safety professionals are needed.

Caroline Binns is a Director for Hays Health & Safety and recruits interim HSE professionals across London and the South of England. Hays Health & Safety recruit HSE professionals nationally, across the UK for permanent, temporary and contract roles across all industry sectors.

0207 259 8724