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Tourism career tip: Get your New Zealand driver licence

Posted on 12/01/2016 by
Gaining a full New Zealand driver licence could help improve your chances of getting a great job.

Many airline, travel and tourism employers require their staff to have at least a restricted driver licence.

Many of our students are surprised to learn that no matter how good their grades, one important skill can significantly impact their chances of getting a great job: their ability to drive.

Holding a full New Zealand driver licence is a huge advantage if you’re interested in working in the airline, travel or tourism industry. For some employers, it’s non-negotiable; they won’t hire you unless you have your licence.

ITC Account Manager Ceri Jenkins advertises jobs to students from top industry employers. Often holding a driver licence is a requirement – even for jobs you wouldn’t expect driving to play a part.

“About 25 per cent of all jobs I advertise require people to have a restricted or full licence,” says Ceri.

“For example, every job at Auckland Airport requires students to have one of these licences. Even companies like AJ Hackett require this, so staff can drive the mini bus to pick up customers from hotels and transport them to the bungy site.”

According to Ceri, some employers also prefer staff to have a licence because this gives them peace of mind that they will turn up to work on time – and that they won’t have to rely on public transport.

It would be a shame to miss out on your dream job simply because you don’t have your driver licence. If you know you would like to work at the airport, as a tour guide, for a hotel or in any other customer-facing role that could involve transporting people, it’s a good idea to start learning to drive.

How to apply for your driver licence

In New Zealand, new drivers must follow a three-step process to become fully licenced.

Step 1: Learner licence
Step 2: Restricted licence
Step 3: Full licence

From start to finish, this process can take upwards of two years to complete, as there are minimum time periods you must hold each licence before you can progress to the next level. That’s why it’s recommended to start learning as soon as possible.

The New Zealand Transport Agency has plenty of information about how to prepare for each test, including practice questions, advice about where to get lessons and more.

Our friendly course advisers are also great people to ask if you have any questions about the process. All students are encouraged to get their licence when they enrol, as you never know what doors this could open.

“Undoubtedly all of our students are more employable if they have a licence,” says Ceri.

If you don’t have one yet, why not make this your 2016 New Year’s Resolution? Good luck and safe driving!

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