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Thread: Gasfitter interveiw

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    8

    Default Gasfitter interveiw

    Hello All,
    My wife and I are looking at moving to somewhere in NZ next year.I say somewhere as it will be job dependant. We have been assessed (visa processing company here) and told we qualify with me as a 'skilled migrant'. I will however have to pass an over-the -phone interveiw with a technician from the Gasfitters,plumbers registration organisation from here in the UK before anything can progress. Has anybody ever heard of / done this ? I'm curious as to the breadth and depth of knowledge that will be covered. I've 25 years of plumbing, gas and oil burner / boiler work behind me.

    The gas interveiw is nothing compared to the fun we have before us. 5 dogs,3 cats,2 Shetlands......................we must be mad !

    we would be glad to hear any thoughts on this matter before we part with our hard earned cash.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Christchurch
    Posts
    1,417

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    OH and I owned a big pllumbing and gasfitting company in the US before we made the move. OH has 20 years experience.
    He had to fill out the assessment papers and have the interview as well but that was over 2 years ago.
    The interview lasts about 30 minutes and is just to ascertain how knowledgeable you are in your field. From what the PGDB told us, there were lots of unskilled workers showing up who had paperwork saying they had skills. Immigration was letting them in and then employers were angry because they just couldn't perform. So this system was put into place.
    Once you get an acceptance on this interview, you are eligible to get a job in NZ on a limited license (they have recently changed terminology so sorry if I use some of the old words).
    OH decided to take the plumbing route as there is little gas work in the South Island. We planned for him to add his gas fitting qualification in the future but that may not happen. Drainlaying is out of the question for an immigrant--you would have to completely re qualify as they do not accept any overseas qualifications on this one.
    The process is the same for plumbers and gasfitters. You will be permitted to work on a limited license until you pass your practical test and written test. You will be basically an apprentice. They will treat you like an apprentice and pay you like an apprentice. They will try to make you forget the "right way" and learn the "kiwi way" (and you will likely not be very impressed).
    After you pass the written test (which every apprentice must pass) and the immigrant practical test, you will move on to a "registered" or "licensed" designation.
    The written test is only offered 2 times per year--June and November, I believe. And it is unnecessarily hard. Historically, there was a 17% pass rate. Basically, the test is off of the info taught in the polytechs so you will need some of these notes. The test is petty--it has questions like "what is the name of the chapter of the code" and they grade like they want you to fail.
    And you will also get the pleasure of paying about $3500 for a practical test of workmanship which happens once a year in Wellington. And you will have to pay for airfare and accommodations for a week while you take it. Yes, it takes a week.
    They will have you build something for them to see if you are capable. It used to be that you had to pass this portion before you took the written exam but I think they will allow you to do it in any order now.

    It is really a pain the butt. And for a truly competent gasfitter--it is likely to be too much. We think it is way too much. but we really wanted to be here. So we are jumping through hoops to do it. But it (frankly) sucks.

    We have been here 2 years now and OH is not at his previous level yet. He was a 3rd generation Master in the US (Craftsman here) level plumber, gasfitter and drainlayer who ran a large plumbing company for 8 years.

    Here --he is "on the tools" everyday. He is just a plumber and has no ability to open his own company until he attains Craftsman level--which is still a year away. There is a mandatory waiting period between examinations so we are still waiting for him to be eligible to take the next exam. Because of the way they structure it, he won't be eligible until next June. And then the license will take another 6 months. And this is just for plumbing.

    For another $3500, he can go back to Wellington and take the gas exam--pass the written exam. Work for 13 more months under someone and then sit the Craftsman.

    It is tough. We went from a great life with lots of income to bottom of the barrel with truly terrible pay.

    I don't want to discourage you but I want you to have a realistic idea of what will happen and how long it will take.

    But NZ is green, clean and beautiful. I want to think it's all worth it.

    Good luck!

    And you don't need any agent to help--this forum got us through and we will all help you!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    37,210

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    Hello and welcome.

    I don't know anything about the gasfitters' and plumbers' registration - no doubt anybody who does will comment later.

    But do think twice about using an agent. They take several thousand pounds for passing on information and evidence that you still have to put together YOURSELF. The Immigration New Zealand website has detailed information about going the Skilled Migrant route, and if you take your time to read through it, and ask on here about anything you don't understand, you could probably save yourself all that money.

    Here's the link for Skilled Migrant, with useful links off the page. http://www.immigration.govt.nz/migra...killedmigrant/ Notice the mention of assessing how many points you have, for putting in your Expression of Interest (EOI) - you can fill in your own details to check it through.

    Here's a link for the body that registers plumbers and gasfitters. http://www.pgdb.co.nz/Contact.html I see the bottom link is about 'overseas'. So you could ask them exactly what is needed. It might be easier to talk direct, rather than having the agent in between, who doesn't necessarily understand trade terms.

    Edited to say: I just hit 'send', and found GG had posted in the meantime. Glad you've got some expert knowledge there to help.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    UK
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    Thanks for the quick (and detailed) replies. Off to earn a few quid now, will look again later.
    Cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    UK
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    Thanks for the detailed reply GG. It left me feeling a bit deflated last week, but here we go again, another Monday and it all starts over.
    Thanks
    Steve

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Christchurch
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    I am sorry to have to be the bearer of bad news. But it is harder for plumbing and gas fitting trades. There are so many hoops.

    The good news is that it is "do-able" and the better news is that the PGDB is supposedly revamping the examinations. They are supposed to be making them far easier for guys who know their stuff to pass (which is supposed to be the whole point of the examination anyway, right?)

    I saw another one of your posts saying you only wanted to work for 3 months anyway. If you don't need to work as a gas fitter, there is no need for you to jump through all these hoops. You will simply need to get your skills assessed and get your limited license which is enough to get your PR and then you are done. You don't actually have to continue to work in the trade at all. And you don't have to get your qualifications re established either. You wouldn't have to go beyond the apprentice level qualification or take any tests.

    It might be likely that you will get WTR>PR which will mean they will allow you into the country and time to get your registration sorted (can't be done from overseas as you need to be employed and have your employer sign off on your license), then Immigration will allow you to convert to PR.

    After you have PR, you can pursue whatever course of action you would like. You could continue on (as described above) and be a fully licensed gas fitter or you could abandon the process entirely and go become a beekeeper if you wanted.

  7. #7
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    Jul 2010
    Location
    UK
    Posts
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    Ha,ha................Nice one GrumpyG ! I like the idea of being a beekeeper! Made me smile............Thanks.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2008
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    Christchurch
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    Bees are awesome!!

    (we have a few hives!)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Vectis = Isle of Wight
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    31

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    This thread has given me new hope as I am also a gas fitter with over 32 years experience, I had reached the point where I thought I would not be able to move to NZ as gasfitter is not on the list when you apply online. I will now start looking again with the same enthusiasm I had 6 months ago. Thanks to everyone, you've given me hope and a smile 

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Christchurch
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    I knew they took plumber off the list last year (when we needed to renew our work permits and couldn't !!!) but gasfitter was still on there.

    I just had a look and it isn't on either list. Hmmm!

    Hope you aren't the primary applicant!

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