Trump Threat to Kiwi US Working Holiday Programmes

Press Release – International Working Holidays

31st August 2017

Trump Threat to Kiwi US Working Holiday Programmes

New Zealand’s leading specialist overseas employment agency, International Working Holidays (IWH) is joining forces with American and other international agencies to counter the threat to US working holiday programmes from President Donald Trump’s America First policy.

Vicki Kenny, founder of Auckland based IWH explains: `The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that the Trump administration is considering major reductions in cultural exchange programmes, including those for au pairs, camp counsellors and summer workers, that allow young people from New Zealand to work in the US.

`We are taking calls from young New Zealanders worried that they won’t be able to go on a working holiday next year. We’re working with our US partner agencies on a business as usual basis but lending our support to concerted efforts to protect a much-valued part of the traditional Big OE. ‘

President Donald Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order, issued in April, calls for a review of U.S. immigration rules to ensure that the interests of domestic workers are protected. No decisions have been made, but the WSJ says supporters of the programme worry changes will be made without a full public debate.

Vicki adds: `As the New Zealand agent for Camp America we are being kept fully involved with initiatives to help ensure that decision makers in Washington clearly hear the voice of the Exchange Communities. In the 17 years we have been sending kiwis to Camp America and Au Pair in America we have faced many challenges (Iraq War, Volcanoes, Bird Flu, Ebola, US Government shut downs) and this is one more but will not be the last. This is not how it will end.’

Key points to note:

1. The Department of State is working ‘business as usual’, and has organised an October sponsors’ meeting, as they do each year, to review regulations, policies and procedures for the year ahead.

2. US Camps are still actively looking for New Zealanders for their 2018 summer, and are planning their annual visit to Auckland to hire Kiwis on January 17th 2018.

3. The American Camping Association (ACA) is mobilised to bring its full and impressive weight to bear on this situation. ACA President Tom Rosenburg is currently en-route to Washington ready to spend the next few days in discussion with White House officials and other key influencers.

4. Campaigns are in full swing with Camp Directors, camper families, Employers, Au Pair families all being encouraged to lobby their local senators etc.…

White House campaign calls are being made.

5. The Alliance for International Exchange is an association dedicated to promoting the growth and impact of exchange programs. Since 1993, it serves as the collective public policy voice for now over 90 nongovernmental organizations comprising the international educational and cultural exchange community in the United States. The Alliance increases awareness of the impact of people-to-people diplomacy.

6. AIFS (parent organisation of Camp America and Au Pair in America programs) as a member of the association, and with Bill Gertz President & CEO of AIFS also currently Chair of the Alliance Board of Directors, is at the forefront of the strategic response to this challenge.

IWH was founded in 2001 by Vicki Kenny, who had established its sister company Nannies Abroad in 1995 after she had returned from her Big OE working as a nanny, and as a temp while she travelled the world. A spilled rice pudding and some challenging circumstances while she was in London working as a live-in nanny convinced her that there was the need for a specialist service to help others navigate the potential pitfalls and get the most from their life changing adventures. Since then Nannies Abroad and International Working Holidays have helped thousands of people take off for their Big OE.


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