First ever Mourra Prize for Skilled Migrants to be awarded

After seven years dedicated to mentoring skilled migrants arriving in New Zealand, Nonsuch Consulting Director & Principal Consultant Youssef Mourra has offered up two prizes a year for the Workplace Communication for Skilled Migrants programme offered by Victoria University of Wellington, the first of which is being awarded this coming Tuesday 8th September 2020.

The Mourra Prize is a $1,000 cash prize, accompanied by a medal and certificate, awarded to the winner of a 1000-word essay on the topic “To what level and how do you intend to integrate and/or assimilate into New Zealand society”. The winning entry is selected by both the course coordinator, Nicky Riddiford, the course director, Dr Angela Joe and Youssef.

Youssef is full of praise for Nicky Riddiford and Victoria University for their long and dedicated commitment to this programme that helps underemployed adult migrant students in developing their language, employment and interview skills. The programme also provides mentoring and assistance with employment.

“I am privileged and lucky to work closely with these skilled migrant workers for the past seven years, helping them develop and integrate into the New Zealand culture. Having been born in Lebanon, emigrating to Australia and then emigrating again to the UK and then finally emigrating to New Zealand, I have some insights into what it’s like to assimilate to a new country. I’m lucky as the cultural changes between Australia, the UK and New Zealand are challenging in itself, they are nothing compared to where many of these skilled migrants face when coming from non-Anglophone countries into New Zealand.

We have so many skilled and experienced migrants either unemployed or underemployed in more menial roles in society which is a shame as we have a skills shortage in New Zealand. Often the only barrier they face is some English language difficulties and an understanding of the office culture. The programme provides direct assistance to address these issues.”

The Workplace Communication graduation ceremony will be held on Tuesday 8 September 2020 at 5:30 pm in the Hunter Council Chamber, Kelburn Campus.  Contact Youssef on [email protected] if you’d like to come along and observe proceedings.