Aussie / Kiwi Contractors – Why Clients Prefer Antipodean IT Workers to Brits

Kiwi Contractors
Kiwi Contractors

Kiwi Contractors

A New Zealander sent us this, about Kiwi contractors, and we thought it was worth publishing:-

Since coming to the UK in 2009, most of the Agents I’ve dealt with have been almost overly eager to try and place me once they’ve found out that I’m a Kiwi (and British Passport holder).

When I first arrived here, I found it an interesting situation that several agents were putting my CV in front of clients ahead of seemingly equally qualified Brits.

Every time I changed workplace over the next 3 years I asked around the office to try and understand the attraction that UK employers have to Antipodeans.

Antipodean Contractors

This is the top ten reasons clients give me for wanting Aussie or Kiwi Contractors:

1) They perceive us as hard workers and have excellent work ethic. I can only assume that my forefathers, by travelling to and living in the UK worked hard to establish this reputation and most of us here now are doing the same to maintain it.

2) We don’t have the ‘not my job’ mentality that is prevalent in many workplaces here. When we see a problem, we do something about it.

3) We don’t have the communication problems that many other UK immigrants suffer. This is particularly noticeable with the use of sarcasm and other subtleties of the English language.

4) There is not a large cultural divide between us and you Brits. So, even though we’re foreigners, we’re not so different.

5) We are very social beasties. So, we get along well with a huge range of the social spectrum that is found in UK workplaces. This usually includes interviews with the Client in the first place. We play hard, but work equally as hard.

Brits Worked Harder

6) I’ve been told by one client after the completion of a successful project that he noticed a marked improvement in the efforts of his long-timers (most of whom were Brit contractors) after myself and an Aussie colleague started on his project.

7) We bring a different and often more pragmatic perspective to the problems that Contractors are often employed to solve.

8) There is a vision of New Zealand as this wonderland of a clean green wonderland with opportunities for a fantastic lifestyle that most Brits would die for. This positive feeling towards the country as a whole rubs off onto each of us individually.

9) Our education and qualification levels are the equal if not better than your average Brit.

10) New Zealand is a small place. Many of the travellers who come here
are the ‘cream of the crop’. They are the ones with the desire, get-up-and-go, know-how, charisma, and motivation to get over here in the first place. The dregs stay at home and don’t even get over here.

Opinions of British Clients

Now before you jump to complain that the above is just too generalised, remember that these points have been made to me by Brits, they are simply perceptions right or wrong. I am well aware that we have our fair share of lazy sods but like I said most of them never get here.

Also, I’d like to raise the following point with my fellow Aussie / Kiwi Contractors that might be thinking of skipping the country without paying their taxes.

Over the coming years the UK, Aus, and Kiwi tax departments will be co-operating more and more.

It will only be a matter of time before those debts catch up with you, and rather then pay them now while you’re earning pounds you risk having a HUGE bill in 10 years time when you’ll have to sell the farm to pay it off through the NZ IRD.

Governments have a nasty habit of making this kind of legislation retrospective. Remember, there are only two certainties in life: Taxes and Death.