Seeking immigration advice to New Zealand

To help complete a visa application and assist with their travel, some people seek advice from a number of different organisations – for example immigration consultants, lawyers or other businesses specialising in acting as an immigration adviser for migrants.

If you lodge an application with INZ and you are using an unlicensed adviser, or someone not exempt from licensing, we will refuse to accept your application.

Who needs a licence?

The Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 requires that anyone providing immigration advice has to be licensed, unless exempt. For a list of exempt people, see below.

All immigration advisers need to be licensed by the Immigration Advisers Authority, unless exempt. 

How do I know if my adviser is licensed, or exempt?

To become licensed, an adviser must apply to the Immigration Advisers Authority. Licensed advisers are listed on the register of licensed immigration advisers. To see the register, go to

If an adviser is not on the register of licensed advisers and they are not exempt, any applications they make on behalf of a client will be returned, and we will advise the Registrar of the Immigration Advisers Authority.

Advisers who are waiting for a licensing decision from the Registrar are considered unlicensed.

Is an adviser licensed if they have approval in principle from the Registrar that they are a licensed adviser but they are not listed on the register of licensed advisers?

No. Until your adviser’s name appears on the register, then your adviser is not licensed.

If you submit an application to Immigration New Zealand, we would detect that your adviser is unlicensed and refuse to accept your application.

Who is exempt?

The following individuals do not need a licence to give immigration advice.

People providing informal/family advice

A person is exempt if they provided immigration advice in an informal or family context only, where the advice was not provided systematically or for a fee.

MPs and their staff

A person is exempt if they are a New Zealand member of Parliament or a member of their staff who provided immigration advice as part of their employment agreement.

Foreign diplomats or consular staff

A person is exempt if they are a foreign diplomat or consular staff accorded protection as such under the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunities Act 1968 or the Consular Privileges and Immunities Act 1971.

New Zealand public servants

A person is exempt if they are an employee of the New Zealand public service who provided immigration advice within the scope of their employment agreement.


A person is exempt if they are a lawyer who holds a current practising certificate as a barrister or as a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand.

For more information and to view practising immigration lawyers, go to the ‘Find a lawyer or organisation’ link on the New Zealand Law Society website.

New Zealand community law centre employees

A person is exempt if they are employed by or working as a volunteer for a New Zealand community law centre where at least one lawyer is on the employing body of the community law centre or is employed by or working as a volunteer for the community law centre in a supervisory capacity.

Citizens Advice Bureau employees and volunteers

A person is exempt if they are a person employed by or working as a volunteer for a New Zealand citizens advice bureau.

Offshore advice relating to student applications

A person is exempt if they provide immigration advice offshore in relation to applications or potential applications for student visas only.

Questions and answers

What does the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act 2007 (the Act) do?

The Act aims to protect consumers and enhance the reputation of New Zealand as a migration destination.  The Act creates a framework for the regulation of individuals providing immigration advice both onshore and offshore.

The Immigration Advisers Authority (the Authority), headed by a Registrar, was established within the Department of Labour in 2007 to oversee the licensing of immigration advisers ( Competency standards and a code of conduct setting out the standards required of immigration advisers have been developed.  A disciplinary tribunal (the Immigration Advisers Complaints and Disciplinary Tribunal) has also been established within the Ministry of Justice.

What is immigration advice?

Immigration advice is:
  • using, or purporting to use, knowledge of or experience in immigration to advise, direct, assist or represent another person in regard to an immigration matter relating to New Zealand, whether directly or indirectly and whether or not for gain or reward.
Immigration advice is not: 
  • Providing information that is publicly available or that is prepared or made available by Immigration New Zealand through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, or
  • Directing a person to the Minister or the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, or an immigration officer, a refugee status officer, or a list of licensed immigration advisers, or
  • Carrying out clerical work, translation or interpreting services, or settlement services.

Are all immigration clients required to use an immigration adviser?

No.  An immigration client can fill in the application form themselves.  If they choose to use the services of an adviser, then you need to state this on your application and ensure that your immigration adviser provides their details and signs the declaration section.

Will INZ prioritise my application if I use a licensed adviser?

No.  Applications from licensed advisers are treated the same as any other application.

More information

For more information about who needs to be licensed, or to view the register of licensed advisers, go to the Immigration Advisers Authority website,, or write to them at PO Box 6222, Wellesley Street, Auckland 1141, New Zealand.

Working temporarily in New Zealand

Go to the Working Holiday Scheme pages if you are aged between 18 and 30 years and want to experience life in New Zealand through a working holiday.  
Temporary work visas - for people who:
  • have a job offer from a New Zealand employer
  • are skilled in occupations that are in demand
  • are coming here for a particular purpose or event
  • want to gain work experience or work after studying in New Zealand
  • are students and who want to work
  • want to join a partner here and work.


If you have decided to come to New Zealand to work temporarily, you will probably need to apply for a work visa. Find out if you do, and what requirements you need to meet.

How to apply

If you think that you meet the requirements, then follow our steps to applying for a temporary work visa.

After you are accepted

If you have been in New Zealand for a while and your circumstances have changed, find out how your visa is affected.

Want to study or train while holding a temporary work visa?

All temporary visa holders may study for:
  • up to three months per visa or
  • three months in every 12-month period if the visa is granted for multiple years. You won’t need to apply for a student visa or variation of conditions.
If you’re here on a work visa and you want to study full time for longer than three months, you need to apply for a student visa.

If you are here on a work visa and you want to study part time for longer than three months, you can apply for a variation of conditions to your current visa.

Are you joining your partner in New Zealand?

Our Family Stream is for people who want to work temporarily while joining their partner here. See the requirements.


Work and live in New Zealand permanently

Here are the visa options if you want to live in New Zealand permanently, and your visa application will be based on your occupation or skills.
  • Skilled Migrant Category - for people who have the skills, qualifications and experience New Zealand needs. 
  • Work to Residence - for people who:
    • are qualified in occupations that are in demand in New Zealand, or
    • have a job offer from an accredited employer, or 
    • have exceptional talent in sports or the arts.
This option allows you to apply for a temporary work visa as a step towards gaining permanent residence. 
  • Residence from Work - for people who are already in New Zealand on a Work to Residence visa, and want to apply for residence.

Are you joining your partner in New Zealand?

Our Family Stream is for people who want to work temporarily while joining their partner here. See the requirements.


Studying in New Zealand

If you want to study in New Zealand at school or tertiary level, you may need a student visa.

Our requirements

Find out what you need to do to meet our requirements. You can also find out about what your student visa means for your family.

Changes to health screening
Immigration New Zealand's health screening requirements changed on 30 July 2012. For an overview, and questions and answers for students and education providers, see the news story.

New Zealand study opportunities

Find out about the study opportunities – where you can study and the qualifications you can gain.

How to apply

Find out how to start the application process – apply for a new visa, apply for a further visa, or change the conditions of your visa.

After you are accepted

Find out more about what you need to do after your application for a student visa has been accepted.


Employment figures worth showing off, says Telegraph

A further fall in the jobless total and an increase in overall employment is good news for the economy, says Telegraph Jobs Editor Louisa Peacock.

  Unemployment fell by 82,000 between August and October, to 2.51m, the Office for National Statistics said.

 The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance – considered a more timely measure of unemployment – also fell by 3,000 to 1.58m last month, the figures showed.

 In recent months unemployment falls have been attributed in part to a large number of people working part-time because they could not find full-time work, raising fears of "underemployment" in Britain.

US Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in Nov 2012

Dec 21, 2012: Regional and state unemployment rates were generally lower in November. Forty-five states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases and five states had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-three states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, six states experienced increases, and one state had no change. The national jobless rate, 7.7 percent, edged down from October and was 1.0 percentage point lower than in November 2011.

In November 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 30 states and decreased in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in North Carolina (+30,600), followed by Florida (+24,500) and Texas (+22,100). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in New York (-33,500), followed by Indiana (-9,100) and New Jersey (-8,100). November data for New Jersey and New York reflect the impact of Hurricane Sandy, as well as underlying economic trends. Louisiana experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+0.9 percent), followed by Hawaii, Nevada, and North Carolina (+0.8 percent each). The District of Columbia experienced the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment (-0.7 percent), followed by Nebraska and New York (-0.4 percent each). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 45 states and decreased in 5 states and the District of Columbia. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+4.7 percent). The largest over- the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in West Virginia (-1.8 percent).

The PDF version of the news release

Santa’s elves consider Australian visa options

Santa Claus knows obtaining his Australian visa is a streamlined process but the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has reminded him there are trainee elves on student visas who need to consider their options before their visas expire early in the new year.

Given Santa’s intention to engage in limited work of a highly specialised and non-ongoing nature while down under, he applied for a subclass 456 business short stay visa.  Santa's visa was approved quickly, given the happiness that had resulted from previous visits and his excellent record of compliance with past entry conditions.

“Australia has a world-class education system and we frequently have up-and-coming elves travel to Australia on student visas, where they’re seeking to hone their toy-making skills through courses such as industrial design and engineering,” a DIAC spokesman said.

Most elves return to the North Pole upon completion of their studies. Those elves whose studies have come to an end need to think about their options once the Christmas season is over. This may be to make arrangements to depart or apply for another visa. Elves can apply for a skilled visa through SkillSelect and await an outcome offshore if they are hoping to return as permanent skilled migrants.

"Some elves have come to Australia as part of a labour agreement Santa signed with the Australian Government in 2011,” the spokesman said. “The labour agreement allows only highly skilled elves to enter the country, establish operations and train Australian elves.

“Elves are not on the list of approved occupations for the subclass 457 visa, permanent employer nomination scheme or regional sponsored migration scheme but Santa was able to establish there was a genuine shortage of qualified elves here,” the spokesman added.

Santa has advised the department he would be contacting the affected trainee elves early in 2013 to ensure they complied with their visa conditions. He also asked about what options might be available for other young elves hoping to spend time in Australia.

“We told Santa we’re more than happy to enter negotiations with the North Pole to put in place a reciprocal working holiday agreement, meaning elves aged 18-30 can spend up to 12 months living and working in Australia and young Australians would have full work rights at the North Pole,” the spokesman said.  “But for elves over 30 who are planning an extended stay involving singing and dancing performances while they visit Australia, they will need to find an Australian sponsor and go through the entertainment visa process.”

Media Enquiries: National Communications Branch (02) 6264 2244

Firms offering fake Canadian visas a concern: Slessor

The Consul General of Canada Scot Slessor, on Saturday, expressed concern over rising incidents of fake companies duping people by promising them Canadian visas. Slessor has taken up the matter with Chandigarh Police and asked them to take steps to avoid such incidents.

Slessor told The Indian Express: “A number of incidents of fake visa companies have come to my notice and despite police measures to check such incidents, fresh cases are being reported. The crooked visa consultants are a real concern. They are using the name of the Canadian Consulate General office, impersonating the officials and promising people visas,” he said.

He added that his office will work closely with Chandigarh Police to ascertain veracity of fake cases. “While the positive trend is that a number of people from Punjab and Chandigarh are travelling to Canada on genuine visas, the crooked visa consultants are promising people study and work visas,” he said.

Meanwhile, Chandigarh Police said that have taken several steps to eradicate the “menace of fake visas” like asking companies to provide details to police. Officials said they have notified a list of genuine immigration agents in the city, “There are at least 180 such agents who are functioning in Chandigarh.”

“A special investigation team (SIT) was constituted to focus on probing immigration cases and its work has resulted in the decline in number of fake visas. The special investigation team has now been disbanded,” said an official of the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Chandigarh Police.

Weekly Rest Day for Foreign Domestic Workers (FDWs) in Singapore

Ministry of Manpower, Singapore: We would like to remind employment agencies (EAs) that the FDW weekly rest day will be implemented from 1 Jan 2013. All FDWs whose work permits (whether new or renewed) are issued (as per the date of issuance on FDW’s work permit card) on or after 1 Jan 2013 will be entitled to a weekly rest day.

     If there is prior mutual written agreement that the FDW works on any of her rest days, the employer must compensate the FDW at the minimum rate of one day’s pay for each of the rest days forgone. The rate of pay for one day’s work shall be the FDW’s monthly salary divided by 26. The compensation should also be paid with the month’s salaries.

     For any subsequent variations agreed between the employer and FDW to the taking of rest days, the employer must compensate the FDW with:

    (i)  Pay at the minimum rate of one day’s pay: or
    (ii) A replacement rest day within the same month.

     When placing an FDW, EAs should ensure that the matching of workers with employers takes into account rest day requirements of both parties. EAs also play an important role in facilitating clear documentation of rest day agreements to help minimise misunderstanding and disputes.  An observation made at the Settling-In Programme has shown that many FDWs do not know whether they have rest days. Hence, EAs must clearly communicate the rest day requirements and prior arrangements with the FDW. A sample of an agreement between an employer and his FDW on the latter’s rest day can be found here.  MOM will continue to speak to FDWs at the SIP to check if they are aware.

     We seek your cooperation in helping FDW employers understand and implement the new regulation on rest days for their FDWs.

AI official held in ‘emigration racket’

The cover was blown off an alleged human trafficking racket at Delhi airport this week after a group of people from Andhra Pradesh turned up at an immigration counter different from the one the racketeers had told them to go to.

An Air India official is in police custody; an immigration official alleged to be part of the ring is on the run. “Rahul Roy, an employee of Air India, has been arrested for facilitating the racket,” DCP (IGIA) S S Deswal said.

An Andhra man complained to the Bureau of Immigration’s Foreigners Regional Registration Office (FRRO) on December 6 that a man called Shekhar Kutubudeen had promised to get him to Kuwait without clearance from the Protector of Emigrants despite his ECR (Emigration Check Required) passport. The complainant had given Kutubudeen Rs 28,000, police said.

On December 3, the man was called to Delhi. On the train, he allegedly met two women and a man who had been promised similar deals.

According to the complaint, Kutubudeen’s agent took the group to Delhi airport on the night of December 5-6, where they were approached by a man who said he would “facilitate their departure for Kuwait on the agents’ instructions”. This man has been identified as a head constable from shift B of Immigration, police said.

“Four women and another man joined us, following which the HC (head constable) asked us to enter the airport and wait near an elephant statue near gate no. 3, close to rows C and D,” the complainant said.

UAE announces amnesty for violators of residency laws

The UAE has announced a two-month amnesty programme for foreign violators of immigration and residency laws, but there has been a slow response from Indians to the offer, India's envoy here has said.

There has been a slow response by Indians to the amnestycall by UAE officials as very few have applied so far for emergency certificates to leave the country, Ambassador M K Lokesh said.

"On an average, the Indian missions have been receiving about 40 applications a day, as the total number of applications barely crossed the 200 mark during the first five days of the Amnesty period," Lokesh told reporters here yesterday.

Beginning December 4, the UAE has announced a two-month amnesty for violators of immigration and residency laws in the UAE.

In 2007, taking advantage of a similar amnesty, Indian missions issued about 46,000 emergency certificates (Outpasses) to citizens who had lost their passports.

The amnesty will apply only to those who have overstayed their visit or resident visas in the UAE and not infiltrators, who would be treated like criminals. The process however is likely to gather pace once the deadline nears.

According to Indian missions in the country, last time around 50,000 Indians left the UAE while about 36,000 of them regularised their visa status. The ambassador said that embassy and consulate officials are ensuring smooth operation to complete amnesty procedures.

Lokesh said he has also met officials of Indian airlines to ensure smooth transportation of amnesty-seekers and said that they have assured full cooperation.

Top Cities to Work in Australia

Want to work in Australia? Here are the top cities you could select.

Australia can offer many benefits and advantages of living in a multicultural society, can arguably offer great job opportunities, a better standard of living, as well as a variety of places to live in. Australia really can provide the perfect place to work in and start a family.

If you already have an Australian working visa and you are ready to go, you have to decide first as to where you will settle in Australia. Where will you be living? What are the characteristics of the place or city that you will be living in? If you haven’t come to a decision yet, then here is a list of the top cities to work in Australia.

Sydney. This is the most populated place in Sydney but it has made its way to the Top 10 Most Livable Cities in the World, according to The Economist.

Melbourne. This is the second largest city of Australia. This is where technology, logistics, transportation, as well as research and education center its operation.

Perth. This place also dominates the economy of the state. It is Australia’s resources and mining mecca because it is isolated from the other cities.

Adelaide. This is the country’s manufacturing and defense hub. It is interesting to note that more than half all the cars in Australia are manufactured in Adelaide considering that it has the General Motors Holden plant here.

Brisbane. Brisbane is the home of IT and financial institutions. In fact, it also has one of the most important ports of Australia.

Launceston. This is the regional agricultural and pastoral base in Australia. Though it is not the capital of Tasmania, it is one of Australia’s major tourist destinations.

Newcastle. This is both Australia’s and the world’s largest coal mining export port. However, it is still considered as a traditional industrial city.

Canberra. Canberra is the home of many Australian government officials being the capital of the nation. The software industry is booming in this city.

Gold Coast. If you want to see beaches and a sunny setting, then go to Gold Coast. It has an amazing skyline that will leave your breathless.

Townsville. This is the usual jump off point of people who are going on an excursion to the Great Barrier Reef.

From among these cities, you can now take your pick as to where you will want to spend your days in Australia under your Australian working visa. [See full post]

Skills assessments - helping you fit into the Australian labour market

Did you know that Australia is the only country in the world that has a pre-migration skills assessment scheme?
A skills assessment helps you find out if you have the necessary skills and qualifications to work in your nominated occupation in Australia.

The skills assessment scheme has achieved encouraging results for skilled migrants in the Australian labour market. The Continuous Survey of Australia’s Migrants shows that more than 90 per cent of offshore skilled migrants who migrate with a satisfactory skills assessment are in skilled employment within six months of arriving in Australia.

If you want to apply for an Australian points tested skilled migration visa, you will need to submit an expression of interest (EOI) in SkillSelect and be invited to apply for a visa.

Before you submit an EOI, you will have to obtain a satisfactory skills assessment from the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation. The Skilled Occupation List provides a complete list of the relevant assessing authority for each occupation on the list, as well as contact details for these authorities.

You should undertake a skills assessment before you submit your EOI so that you don’t spend your time and money on a visa application that may not meet the necessary requirements.

A skills assessment should not be confused with licensing or registration. A skills assessment helps you to determine whether your skills and experience is relevant to Australian standards in your nominated occupation while registration or licensing means you hold a license or registration and have permission from the relevant authority to practise in Australia.

If you wish to apply for an employer sponsored visa, you will need to provide evidence of Australian registration or licensing of your occupation to prove that you are eligible. For example, to work as a plumber in Australia, you must be registered with or obtain a licence from a local authority in the state or territory where you want to practise as a plumber. In some cases, a successful skills assessment is also required in addition to meeting the licensing and registration requirements.

You can check if your occupation requires registration or licensing by visiting the Australian skills recognition information page and selecting your occupation. The department does not give advice about skills assessments or registration and licensing requirements.  We process visa applications according to the information and documents you provide.

For information about skills assessments, contact the relevant assessing authority. For questions relating to licensing and registration, contact the relevant registration body in your state or territory.

More information about the skills assessment process is available on the department’s website.

Shanghai to permit 72 hrs visa free entry

China's largest city Shanghai is set to follow capital Beijing to permit 72-hour visa free entry for transit tourists from 45 countries.

Shanghai hopes to cement its burgeoning reputation as a global tourist hotspot by allowing visitors to spend three days in the city without a visa from January 1, a media report said.

As the new year commences, citizens from 45 countries will be permitted a 72-hour visa-free stay inside the “administrative area” of Shanghai, the municipal government said on Sunday.

The countries include the United States, France, Japan and Australia. The names of India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries are conspicuously missing from the list.

The same list, which is mostly confined to European countries, applies to Beijing also which officials hope significantly boost the market for Chinese products as most of the tourists may use it for quick marketing around.

Shanghai already had a programme allowing visitors from 32 countries a 48-hour visa-free stay.

“The extra 24 hours is of great significance and will boost tourism,” said Zhao Huanyan, senior researcher at the Tourism Research Institute under the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences. Shanghai has a different charm than cities like Beijing or Xi'an.

It usually takes a longer time for tourists to be attracted to its beauty, say a night cruise on the Huangpu River, or a banquet and a shopping spree in the crooked alleys, Zhao said. “The extra day will also allow business visitors to the city, the financial center of the country, more time to enjoy a city tour.”

Jobseekers beware, fake shipping agent is still on the prowl

Tamil Nadu, Kerala, West Bengal, U.P. students among victims

They completed their Bachelor of Nautical Science with dreams in their eyes and a loan on their shoulders. They then paid lakhs to a dubious employment agent, hoping to earn a good job on board a safe vessel. Their dreams are shattered today, some have even thought of committing suicide, even as the agent seems to continue running his racket with impunity.

“He is very shrewd. He knows that those staying in Mumbai will call his bluff soon and will make it difficult for him to operate. So he approaches only students like us who are from outside the city or the State. There are many students from Lucknow, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, and Kolkata who are still waiting in the hope that Pawan Brar will return their money. He probably knows well that it is difficult for us to identify the other victims. Forget our coming together, filing a complaint and following it up,” said 20-year-old Babu Raghavan from Chennai said.

He and his friends have completed B.Sc. (Nautical Science) from AMET University in Chennai.

Just last year Pawan Brar, believed to be in his 20s, was arrested by the Mumbai Police, along with his accomplice, for duping two students from Vellore in Tamil Nadu after sending an e-mail about fake job opportunities to their college. But he was released later. Read more..

UK 'Under-Employed' Total Hits Three Million

Official figures have highlighted a steep rise in the number of people wanting to work more hours - sparking a bitter debate on the Government's economic strategy.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found there had been an increase of one million people classed as under-employed since the financial crisis of 2008, taking the total beyond three million.

The three million figure included almost two million part-time workers, many of whom wanted a full-time job.

According to the ONS, the occupations with the highest number of under-employed workers included cleaners, caterers and labourers.

The average under-employed person was found to have earned £7.49 an hour, more than £3 less than someone who was not under-employed.

More than one in five of workers aged 16-24 were under-employed this year, compared with 10% of those aged 35-49, the ONS said, while the highest under-employment rates were in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, the North East and the South West where more than 10% of workers wanted to work more hours. [Read full]

The Importance of Social Media for Job Seekers

Competition for jobs is fierce. That much is in no doubt. It’s hardly surprising when we consider that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in the U.S. currently stands at 7.9% with more than 12 million unemployed persons looking for work.

Naturally job seekers are looking at ways they can tweak their job hunting approach as a means of differentiating themselves from competing applicants. The importance of social media in this capacity cannot be underestimated. Social Recruiting 2012, a survey carried out by recruitment firm Jobvite, indicates that a little over 90% of employers currently use or have firm plans to adopt social platforms as an avenue for recruitment. Almost three quarter of employers have already done so.

These statistics have already inspired 88% of job seekers to set up at least one social media profile, whereas one in six credit their current role as being a direct result of social networking activity. Taking these figures into account, it makes sense for job seekers to consider social networking platforms as a viable avenue in their wider job seeking strategy. The key thing, of course, is to approach it in the right way in order to offer the most positive and consistent image possible.

Most job seekers using social platforms will be fully signed up to the fact that drunken pictures are not likely to win over any potential employers, but it goes further than that. Although around 50% of recruiters would view alcohol consumption negatively (particularly in excess), even higher numbers would take a dim view on content of a sexual nature, illegal drug taking, and, believe it or not, poor spelling and grammar. It might be time to spell check those tweets. On the flip side, those job seekers that are looking to stand out from other candidates will see great importance in the fact that almost 80% of recruiters would respond favorably to evidence of volunteering and membership of appropriate professional bodies.

The job seeker must also give due attention to the platforms on which they host their profiles. LinkedIn is the obvious one, with almost 90% of companies that have made social hires doing so via this platform. That’s not to say that Facebook and Twitter should be ignored. Although fewer companies have hired through these platforms (26% on Facebook and 15% on Twitter), there is a strong likelihood that recruiters consult all profiles, before making the final hire via LinkedIn. In any case, having more than one profile offers the job seeker a chance to provide a well rounded image and furnishes them with more chance of being noticed.

Of course, it might not be the case that the job seeker is “noticed” as such. Being proactive is most definitely the name of the game here. Thanks to these social platforms, the chance exists for job seekers to connect directly with the companies that interest them and that is an opportunity that should never be ignored.

Author Bio
Linda Forshaw is a Business Information Systems graduate from Lancaster University in the UK. A contributor to Degree, a resource for aspiring college students, she is also a full time writer and blogger specializing in education, social media, and entrepreneurship. Contact her on Twitter @seelindaplay

Eurozone unemployment hits another record high

LONDON - (AP) -- Another month, another record unemployment rate for the economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro.

Figures released Friday by Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, showed that the recession in the eurozone pushed unemployment up in the currency bloc to 11.7 percent in October, the highest level since the introduction of the euro in 1999.

The rise from September's previous record of 11.6 percent was anticipated after the eurozone returned to recession in the third quarter, commonly defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

While the eurozone's unemployment has been inching upward since June 2011, the equivalent rate in the U.S. has fallen to below 8 percent as the world's largest economy continues its recovery from recession. In October, it stood at 7.9 percent.

Eurostat found that 18.7 million people were out of work across the eurozone, an increase of 173,000 on the previous month and 2.2 million higher than the year before. The wider 27-nation EU that includes non-euro countries such as Britain and Poland had an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent in October and a total of 25.9 million out of work.

"The level of unemployment in Europe remains unacceptably high," said Jonathan Todd, a spokesman for the European Commission, the EU's executive arm.

Spain and Greece have the region's highest unemployment rates -- both over 25 percent, with youth unemployment levels heading toward 60 percent, a figure that could have a long-term economic and political impact. [Read more..]

Myanmar verifying Muslim citizenship

Guarded by rifle-toting police, immigration authorities in western Myanmar have launched a major operation aimed at settling an explosive question at the heart of the biggest crisis the government has faced since beginning its nascent transition to democracy last year.

It's a question that has helped fuel two bloody spasms of sectarian unrest between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims since June, and it comes down to one simple thing: Who has the right to be a citizen of Myanmar, and who does not? A team of Associated Press journalists that traveled recently to the remote island village of Sin Thet Maw, a maze of bamboo huts without electricity in Myanmar's volatile west, found government immigration officials in the midst of a painstaking, census-like operation aimed at verifying the citizenship of Muslims living there, one family at a time.

Armed with pens, stacks of paper and hand-drawn maps, they worked around low wooden tables that sat in the dirt, collecting information about birth dates and places, parents and grandparents – vital details of life and death spanning three generations.

Read more

Annual net migration to UK falls first time since 2008-09

For the first time since 2008-09, net migration levels to the UK have fallen significantly in the past year, mainly due to a dip in the number of foreigners studying in the country, indicating that Prime Minister David Cameron government's tough immigration policy was taking effect.

Net migration - the balance between the number of people who come to live in Britain for the long-term and the number who are leaving - fell from 242,000 to 183,000 in the year to March.

The reduction was principally because of a fall in the number of foreign nationals studying in the country, the BBC reported.

The UK government led by Prime Minister David Cameron wants to reduce the annual figure to the tens of thousands.

The Conservatives made reducing net migration a key part of their immigration policy while in opposition although totals actually rose by more than 20 per cent in 2010-11.

But provisional data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) indicates that net migration in 2011-2012 fell to below 200,000 for the first time since 2008-2009.

Over that period, inward migration to the UK fell by 42,000 to 536,000 - with the number of non-EU nationals settling in the UK falling from 317,000 to 296,000.

The ONS said the fall was "largely due" to a drop in the number of foreign students despite an increase in the number of arrivals from China - the UK's largest overseas student market. Read full article here.

Motivating Employees - Some Tips of the Trade

A successful small business manager, by the very nature of the job, needs to have a broad and diverse skill-set. She needs to be smart, creative, and hard-working. She must have the ability to spearhead a marketing campaign, manage a budget, and practice great in-house behaviors with employees. But even among all these skills, there is one crucial talent that rarely fails to stand out: the ability to motivate one’s employees.

There’s no question that a motivated worker is likely to be a more driven and productive one. A workforce that is motivated, moreover, will tend to be happier, more cohesive, and less inclined to seek work elsewhere. Rather than searching out a different job, a motivated employee is more willing to be content with the work that he has. This translates into lower turnover, higher productivity, and a decrease in training costs.

If you’re a small business owner or manager, then, how can you work to motivate your employees in the new year? Here are a few tips:

Have Consistent Reinforcements

Broadly speaking, there are two main ways to approach employee motivation: you can motivate your employees positively, through goals and incentives, or you can take a more negative approach and use worker requirements or threats to boost productivity. Most employers strive for the former approach but end up somewhere in the middle, a location that is undesirable because positive and negative motivators tend to cancel each other out. It is consequently important to remain consistent in your approach.

Cultivate Culture

Many small business managers use a variety of tactics to try to create a “fun” office and boost employee happiness. These tactics include free meals, office parties, and themed work days. There’s nothing wrong with encouraging office outings, but from a motivational perspective the main goal of such outings should not be “culture,” not “fun.” Any event of activity that promotes office cohesiveness can indirectly breed a more motivated employee group down the road. The larger a company grows, the more stable the culture needs to be. Looking into how successful companies and their CEO's (check out Morgan Chu on viadeo) can be a great resource of some tips and advice on the topic.

Create Team Incentives

On this note, any other measures that encourage a collaborative work environment can be helpful. Specifically, employees are usually more motivated when given collective incentives (which foster a goal-seeking atmosphere) rather than individualized incentives (which can lead to stress and inner-office competition).

Hopefully the tips can help you better motivate your employees in 2012. As a manager, it’s one of the most important things you can do. Good luck!

Easy for educated to get jobs in Canada

The first turbaned Canadian Cabinet Minister Tim Uppal was in Ludhiana on Saturday and said that getting a job in Canada was no problem, “provided you are skilled and proficient in English or French”.

The minister for Democratic Reform said: “We have enough jobs for those who are educated. Our government is also all set to improve immigration rules and a person with a job offer from a Canadian company can be in the country within months - a process which earlier used to take eight years through immigration agents. Now companies will be liaison with government regarding their employment needs. We want to take immigration agents out of the process.”

“Our government has already signed an agreement with India regarding social security, higher education and nuclear agreement as our country wants to sell uranium for the upcoming nuclear plants in India.”

The minster, highlighting the increasing purchase capacity of the Indian middle class, said the current $ 5.2 billion trade between two countries will likely cross $ 15 billion by 2015 as more Indian companies invest in Canada.

South African unemployment: Lies and statistics

It has become one of the defining truths about modern South Africa and its economic and social struggles: Soaring, endemic, potentially explosive levels of unemployment.

The official figures paint a resolutely grim picture of a country where a quarter of the workforce cannot find a job, and where almost half of young South Africans are without work.

But are the figures accurate - or to borrow from Mark Twain - "damned lies"?

According to a report by labour analysts at a prominent South African company, the true unemployment figure here is actually about 11.3%.

Adcorp reaches this remarkable, and presumably contestable conclusion by including "informal sector jobs", which it concedes are hard to measure accurately.

South Africa's ruling alliance has always placed strong emphasis on the notion of "decent work", and some of the informal jobs - those beyond the reach of the tax inspector, unions, insurance etc - included in Adcorp's calculations presumably do not fall into that category.

Read full article here

Gross job gains increased in first quarter 2012, while gross job losses decreased

In first quarter 2012, gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments increased to 6.9 million. Gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments decreased to 6.1 million.

 From December 2011 to March 2012 gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments were 6.9 million, an increase of 26,000 from the previous quarter, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over this period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments were 6.1 million, a decrease of 399,000 from the previous quarter.

The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses yielded a net employment change of 814,000 jobs in the private sector during the first quarter of 2012.

The change in the number of jobs over time is the net result of increases and decreases in employment that occur at all businesses in the economy. Business Employment Dynamics (BED) statistics track these changes in employment at private business units from the third month of one quarter to the third month of the next. Gross job gains are the sum of increases in employment from expansions at existing units and the addition of new jobs at opening units. Gross job losses are the result of contractions in employment at existing units and the loss of jobs at closing units. The difference between the number of gross job gains and the number of gross job losses is the net change in employment.

The BED data series include gross job gains and gross job losses at the establishment level by industry subsector and for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as gross job gains and gross job losses at the firm level by employer size class.

Gross job gains at expanding establishments totaled 5.7 million in first quarter 2012, an increase of 149,000 from the previous quarter.

Opening establishments accounted for 1.2 million jobs gained in first quarter 2012, a decrease of 123,000 from the previous quarter.

Contracting establishments lost 4.9 million jobs in first quarter 2012. This is a decrease of 303,000 from the prior quarter.

In first quarter 2012, closing establishments lost 1.2 million jobs, a decrease of 96,000 from the previous quarter.

Gross job gains represented 6.3 percent of private sector employment in first quarter 2012, while gross job losses represented 5.6 percent of private sector employment.

In first quarter 2012, the number of establishment births (a subset of the openings data, see the Technical Note for more information) fell by 9,000 to 193,000. These new establishments accounted for 748,000 jobs, a decrease of 54,000 from the previous quarter.

Data for establishment deaths (a subset of the closings data) are available through second quarter 2011, when 677,000 jobs were lost at 190,000 establishments. These figures represent an increase from the prior quarter when 610,000 jobs were lost at 184,000 establishments.

During first quarter 2012, gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in all industry sectors except information, and transportation and warehousing. Manufacturing experienced its eighth consecutive quarter of net employment gains. The leisure and hospitality industry experienced a net employment gain of 250,000 jobs, representing the largest net employment gain in that industry since the series began in 1992.

The PDF version of the news release

Table of Contents

Comprehensive immigration reform soon: Obama

Washington: US President Barack Obama plans to give new thrust to a comprehensive immigration reform in the country one that would not only address the issue of illegal immigrants but also how to attract and retain highly skilled manpower from countries like India.

At his maiden White House press meet yesterday following his re-election, Obama said he is very confident that they can get immigration reform done. Noting that there has been bipartisan support to this effort, Obama said there is need to seize the moment. "My expectation is, is that we get a bill introduced and we begin the process in Congress very soon after my inauguration. In fact, some conversations I think are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about what would this look like," he said.

"When I say comprehensive immigration reform, it is very similar to the outlines of previous efforts at comprehensive immigration reform. I think it should include a continuation of the strong border security measures that we've taken because we have to secure our borders. "I think it should contain serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring undocumented workers and taking advantage of them," Obama said.

Taking about DREAM Act that would provide conditional permanent residency to certain undocumented minor immigrants, he said,"Obviously, making sure that we put into law what the first step that we've taken administratively dealing with the DREAM Act kids is very important as well.

"One thing that I'm very clear about is that young people who are brought here through no fault of their own, who have gone to school here, pledged allegiance to our flag, want to serve in our military, want to go to school and contribute to our society, that they shouldn't be under the cloud of deportation, that we should give them every opportunity to earn their citizenship," Obama noted.
And there are other components to it, he said.

"The business community continues to be concerned about getting enough high-skill workers, and I am a believer that if you've got a PhD in physics or computer science who wants to stay here and start a business here, we shouldn't make it harder for him to stay here; we should try to encourage him to contribute to this society," Obama said.

The agricultural sector obviously has very specific concerns about making sure that they've got a workforce that helps deliver food to tables. "So there are going to be a bunch of components to it, but I think whatever process we have needs to make sure our border security is strong, needs to deal with employers effectively, needs to provide a pathway for the undocumented here, needs to deal with the DREAM Act kids.
And I think that's something that we can get done," Obama said.

Important message: do not to listen to people smugglers’ lies

12-11-2012 - Australia’s immigration regional director (South Asia) Jose Alvarez today issued a warning to people smugglers selling lies about visa opportunities in Australia.

His warning came following the weekend return of dozens more Sri Lankan men from Australia, bringing the total to more than 250 Sri Lankan nationals who have been returned, both voluntarily and involuntarily, since mid-August.

“Australia will not take people who do not engage its international obligations,” Mr Alvarez said, in support of a videotaped message from Australia, featuring the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen, which was especially transmitted to the Sri Lankan media for broadcast in English, Sinhala and Tamil.

“You will be sent back on the first available flight home so don’t waste your money and don’t risk your life. If you do not engage Australia’s international obligations, you will be returned very quickly.

“There is no money and no assistance for people sent home involuntarily. Lies and false promises are being told about what awaits people in Australia,” Mr Alvarez said.

The Australian Government is committed to preventing people from taking dangerous boat journeys. Part of that commitment includes the reinstatement of offshore

“People now arriving in Australian waters on boats can be transferred to either Nauru or Manus Island in Papua New Guinea where they could spend a significant amount of time,” Mr Alvarez said. “Those people without a valid visa and no claim that engages Australia's international obligations will be quickly returned to Sri Lanka.

“Let me repeat: people returned involuntarily do not have access to reintegration assistance,” Mr Alvarez added.

Media Enquiries: National Communications 02 6264 2244

New Beginnings

It’s new beginnings for Infor as Oracle’s Charles Phillips takes helm as CEO and forges ahead. Infor is recognized as a leader in the industry of enterprise applications and services. In fact, only two business software companies provide services to more customers; Oracle and SAP. 

Infor provides services to over 70,000 customers spread across 194 countries. The company employs over 13,000 individuals that live in various places. For Phillips, a primary goal is that of growth. During his short two year period of service Phillips has managed to make some big changes. Not only has a new executive management team been assembled but over 2,500 new customers have been added since Phillips became CEO. 

About The Man

Charles Phillips was born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1959. He holds a BS in Computer Science, an MBA, and a JD. Phillips was a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. His career highlights include such things as serving as director at Viacom Corporation and the American Museum of Natural History.

Before joining Infor Phillips held the position of President of Oracle Corporation and he was also on the company’s Board of Directors. Charles Phillips is well-respected as a man of integrity. His philanthropic work has helped many charities.

The Business Software Industry

Other leaders in the business software industry cater to large corporations, the big dogs in the field. On the other hand, Infor is said to be developed with smaller businesses in mind. This is a market that has been largely overlooked by other leaders in the field, such as I.B.M., SAP, and Oracle. This is not to say that these companies have no desire to reach this market, it is simply that their focus is elsewhere.

Making Changes

As mentioned, Phillips has forged ahead with changes to Infor. Besides hiring new people he has acquired new customers. He has also enforced some new rules. The first one is to only hire people that are brilliant at what they do. The second rule is to only hire people that the team would like to have dinner with.

The idea is that if you don’t enjoy dining with a person you probably won’t like spending long hours with them at the multi-person desk that is shared by the executive team. Another concept initiated by Phillips is interruptions. According to this innovative man, interruptions have a tendency to lead to inspiration.

Extreme innovations are the constant goal for Infor. An open floor plan and an unstructured structure make it possible for collaboration of all staff members. Everyone is encouraged to be progressive and come up with new ideas that can be shared with Phillips and others. This communication flow results in lots of ideas and a team spirit. Bottom line is, Infor is destined for continued greatness.

On the separation of 138,484 workers from their jobs for 31 days in U.S.

Employers in the private nonfarm sector initiated 885 mass layoff events in the third quarter of 2012 that resulted in the separation of 138,484 workers from their jobs for at least 31 days, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the year, total extended mass layoff events and associated worker separations were down from 1,393 and 235,325, respectively.

Permanent worksite closures accounted for 11 percent of all events and 14 percent of all separations during the third quarter of 2012, primarily in the manufacturing sector. Third quarter 2012 layoff data are preliminary and are subject to revision.

Industry Distribution of Extended Layoffs

Manufacturing industries reported 196 extended mass layoff events and 29,350 separations in the third quarter of 2012, largely due to slack work/insufficient demand. This sector accounted for 22 percent of layoff events and 21 percent of related separations during the quarter.

The administrative and waste services sector had 137 events and 22,869 separations, primarily due to contract completion, in the third quarter of 2012. The industry accounted for 15 percent of layoff events and 17 percent of separations. The construction sector reported 122 layoff events and 13,001 separations, also primarily due to contract completion.

Reasons for Extended Layoffs

Business demand factors, primarily contract completion, accounted for 44 percent of both extended mass layoff events and related separations in the private nonfarm sector during the third quarter of 2012. Layoffs due to the completion of seasonal work accounted for 20 percent of the events and 19 percent of related separations during the quarter.

The PDF version of the news release

Canada job market stalls in October after hefty gains

OTTAWA: Canada's job market stalled in October after two months of strong hiring, Statistics Canada data showed recently. The economy added 1,800 jobs in the month, even lower than the small increase of 5,000 jobs forecast in a Reuters poll, while the unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 percent.

The country created 52,100 jobs in September and 34,300 in August. Due to the volatility of the data from month to month, analysts prefer to look at three- or six-month moving averages, which show monthly gains of 29,400 and 12,100, respectively.

Economists have argued that with the economy expanding at about a 2 percent rate, employment growth of the magnitude seen in the previous two months was not sustainable.

The Canadian dollar strengthened to a one-week high against its U.S. counterpart after data showed U.S. employers stepped up hiring in October.

The Canadian currency traded as high as C$0.9955 to the greenback, or $1.0045, its strongest level since Oct. 26.

It had traded at C$0.9981, or $1.0018, just before the jobs reports were released, and closed Thursday's North American session at C$0.9968, or $1.0032.

All the gains in Canadian employment in October were in full-time positions, with the number of workers in the private sector shrinking and the public sector adding to its payrolls.

The goods-producing sector lost a net 19,300 jobs, dragged down mainly by agriculture. The services sector created some 21,000 positions, with the biggest gains seen in educational services.

Canada recovered all the jobs lost during the 2008-09 recession by January 2011 and has since added another 390,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, however, remains stubbornly higher than the 6.1 percent rate just before the downturn. [full text]

Though 171,000 new jobs, US unemployment rate rises

The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics announced that the economy added 171,000 new jobs during October, yet the joblessness rate riced to 7.9 per cent.

With less than a week left before the Presidential elections, the jobs data is likely to be seized upon by Democrats and Republicans alike, the former perhaps to emphasise the new jobs created in the post-recession scenario, and the latter to focus on the slow progress in the face of crippling unemployment.

Mr. Krueger added that the BLS report showed that the private sector added 184,000 jobs last month, “the biggest monthly gain in eight months,” and as a result the economy had added private sector jobs for 32 straight months, bringing the total number of jobs added during that period to of 5.4 million.

In what might constitute a partial explanation for the uptick in the unemployment rate the BLS explained that the civilian labour force rose by 578,000 to 155.6 million in October, representing an increase in the labour force participation rate to 63.8 per cent. Among key social cohorts the unemployment rate for African-Americans increased to 14.3 per cent last month, while the rates for Asians was 4.9 per cent, down from 7.3 per cent a year earlier.

Employment numbers by sector varied substantially. Professional and business services added 51,000 jobs in October, health care added 31,000 jobs, retail trade added 36,000 jobs, employment in leisure and hospitality rose by 28,000, and in construction — especially in specialty trade contractors — increased by 17,000. [Full report]

Boost Your IT CV and Land the Interview Today

You may have an education plan in mind that can help you land your dream IT job. While Western International University degree programs can help you get the right information you need to succeed in an internet technology career, your first step is to tackle the interview. But how does one go about getting to an interview? The answer is simple: having the right CV.

What is a CV?

A curriculum vitae, better known as a CV, is a piece of paper that describes your history in the profession you’re applying for. Not only does this include any direct experience you have in the field, but it also includes your education background. Depending on the length of your work experience, you may choose to put more emphasis on your education. This is especially the case if you are new to the field and are applying for entry-level positions.

Components for an IT Job

While a good CV is important for any job, you have to make sure it is appropriate for the job you’re looking for. In the case of the IT industry, you must make sure that your CV highlights your educational background in the field, as well as any direct work experience you might have. Think carefully about your work details, as you will want to highlight every bit of related credentials that will help you land the interview.

When building an IT CV, you should also consider other components, such as certifications. You should also indicate that your willingness to keep up with the industry in the form of future certifications. If your credentials create a longer list than one page will allow for, feel free to do so—while you want to keep your CV to the point, you also need to make sure that you get the right information on it, too.

Distributing Your CV

Once you have a solid IT CV, you should determine the best places to distribute the information. Before graduation, you should already have an idea of what type of job you want. You may also want to decide whether you want to work out in the field or at a support desk, as this can impact your overall career objective.

You can look for job openings:

  • Online
  • In the newspaper
  • On campus
  • By asking a company in person

Interview Preparation

The real goal of a CV is to get you to the job interview. An interviewer certainly won’t call you back if your CV is in bad shape. If you get the call, this means that means you have built a solid CV and you should be proud of yourself. Still, the work isn’t over yet, as you still need to ace the interview. By keeping your experience and education in check, you can get across your credentials to your potential employer. Add a genuine personality to that, and then you may just land yourself the IT job of your dreams.

Jessica is a full-time editor currently considering an online degree program. Feel free to follow her on Twitter.

Photo Credit: Martin Boulanger,

1 in 4 Spaniards out of work at end of 3rd quarter

MADRID — One Spaniard in four is now officially out of work as the economic crisis tightens its grip on the country.

The National Statistics Institute said Friday that 85,000 more people joined the ranks of the unemployed between July and September, raising the total to 5.78 million. The figures brought the country's unemployment rate up by around 0.4 percentage points in the third quarter to 25.02 percent.

For those under 25 years of age, the unemployment rate edged down marginally to 52 percent from 53 percent in the previous quarter.

The institute said that over the past 12 months some 800,000 people had lost their jobs.

Spain is under pressure to ask for outside aid to help deal with its debts. The country is in its second recession in three years. It has already been granted a €100 billion ($130 billion) bailout facility for its troubled banks while many of its regional government are also in bad financial shape.

In September, the European Central Bank said it would buy unlimited amounts of bonds in countries struggling with their debts if they formally apply for aid. This has helped Spain by lowering its borrowing costs, but conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has held off triggering the actual purchases. Read more..

My English is not well - Role of proofreaders

Here are some of the main skills and techniques that proofreaders require to do their work. Proofreaders need to:
  • Scrutinise documents in minute detail in order to identify errors
  • Identify the common proof errors that are often missed by writers and editors
  • Use a structured proofreading process to ensure error-free copy
  • Mark up copy using the classic proofreading correction marks
  • Proofread long documents patiently and without losing concentration
  • Spot and correct mistakes in grammar and punctuation
  • Spot and correct errors in capitalisation and hyphenation
  • Recognise a wide range of words and identify when they are used or spelled wrongly
  • Use agreed (or house) style rules to ensure consistency
  • Judge when to change something and when to leave it as it is
  • Query decisively and effectively when there may be an ambiguity in the text.

Do you have any tips or techniques for effective proofreading?

Berlin schools 'racially segregating' children

Several primary and secondary schools in Berlin are segregating migrant children into classes with "vastly inferior education," to attract "ethnic Germans," an NGO has told a United Nations Human Rights session in Geneva.

The report, drawn up by the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) noted that children of immigrants are being segregated from native-born German pupils on the putative grounds that their German language skills are inadequate for regular classes.

“In fact, although they speak German as a second language (in most cases), their language skills generally are adequate for regular classes, but serve as a proxy for discrimination on the basis of ethnicity or other suspect criteria,” the OSJI reported.

“The discriminatory practices stigmatise migrant students, undermine their potential to integrate and participate fully in German society, and violate Germany’s obligations to prohibit discrimination,” the report concluded.

Serdar Yazar, of the Berlin Brandenburg Turkish association (TBB), which helped gather data and parents' testimonies for the report, was unsurprised by its conclusions, but said that active segregation was a new development.

"This is a new tendency," he told The Local. "We've had a lot of negative references for children of immigrant background who want to go to other schools, but in the last two or three years we've had more and more cases of separated classes."

He cites one particularly well-known case of a primary school in the Kreuzberg district of Berlin. Read more..

School bans homework for two years

German school kids are feeling the brunt of changes to their educational system with longer days - so one grammar school decided recently to bring in a homework ban to help pupils unwind.

Youngsters in grades five to nine at the Elsa-Brändström high school in North Rhine-Westphalia should have a lot more free time after the autumn holidays – as their school council have agreed to stop assigning homework.

Though pupils struggling in certain areas could still get the odd task to do, generally “no child would be having their free time dominated by doing school work” head teacher Brigitte Fontein told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday.

Instead, teaching time would be used to do more work, as the school has mostly double periods, explained Fontein.

The decision was made after a longer school day was introduced at many high schools because a year was recently cut out of Germany's high school system.

Because pupils were now being kept in school until 6pm in many cases, they should have time after this to unwind, Fontein said.

The German school system has come under fire from the Education and Science Workers' Union (GEW) recently, which said that pupils are put under far too much pressure at school. Read more..

Graduates to be offered £20,000 to train as computer science teachers

Michael Gove announces new courses designed with help from Facebook, Microsoft and IBM to improve basic, boring school lessons

Graduates are to be offered £20,000 scholarships to train as computer science teachers in an initiative launched by the UK government and backed by companies including Microsoft and Facebook.

The move is part of a package of reforms aimed at overhauling computer science education, giving children the skills to write programs rather than simply focusing on word processing skills.

The education secretary, Michael Gove, announced on Friday that current information and communications technology teacher training courses will be axed from next year. Instead, ministers will offer scholarships worth £20,000 to attract high-achieving graduates to train as computer science teachers.

Teachers and industry leaders are concerned that the way ICT is currently taught in schools leaves children bored and learning little beyond the most basic digital skills.

Under the new measures, industry experts have set out the subject knowledge required of all new computer science teachers. This includes being able to demonstrate an understanding of key concepts such as algorithms and logic.

The new teacher training courses will begin next September, when around 50 scholarships will be available to applicants with a 1st or a 2.1 degree.

Gove said: "Computer science is not just a rigorous, fascinating and intellectually challenging subject. It is also vital to our success in the global race.

Read more..

Forgotten women of science win recognition online

By late afternoon scores of red women on Sam Haskell's list had turned blue: female scientists, some dead and some living, many immensely distinguished, some geniuses, but whose names have almost been forgotten even by their peers.

Up the grand marble staircase of the Royal Society in London, under the imposing gold and white library ceiling, women and a handful of men had gathered, joined by many more online across the world, to correct a gross injustice.

The list gradually changing colour on Haskell's screen represented hundreds of women scientists who have either never had a Wikipedia entry, or whose lives and work are dismissed in a stub a few lines long.

The names turning blue represented the success of a live edit-a-thon jointly organised by the Royal Society, where Haskell is digital communications officer, and Wikimedia UK – together with the promoters of Ada Lovelace Day, held every year in honour of the 19th-century mathematician, daughter of the poet Lord Byron, who became a pioneer of computing theory.

The event in London was booked out for weeks, but many more joined online, some starting work days ago.

Read more

UK employment hits all-time high

More people are in employment in the UK than at any time since records began in 1971, rising to nearly 30m for June to August, according to official Government data.

The Office for National Statistics said the employment level rose to 29.59m for June to August, the highest since records began in January to March 1971 and up 212,000 from March to May.

The number of full-time workers increased by 88,000 to reach 21.45 million. The number of part-time workers increased by 125,000 to reach 8.13 million, the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992.

The figures also showed that unemployment fell more than expected, to 7.9pc from 8.1pc. Analysts had expected the level to remain unchanged.

The number of Britons claiming unemployment also fell unexpectedly, falling by 4,000 in September since the month before to 1.57m, the third consecutive monthly fall and the lowest total since July 2011.

Analysts had forecast an unchanged reading after a sharp fall in August, which was possibly helped by hiring for the London Olympics.

Read more..