Hosking on expensive lazy economic sea anchors

Credit NZ Herald, via Newstalk ZB

Credit NZ Herald, via Newstalk ZB

We have a pretty low rate on unemployment in this country at a bit over five percent. We’re beating most countries and getting dangerously close to the three percent mark that most people recognise as being full employment. The three percent are those who have no skills or don’t want a job and have dropped out or live in bits of the country where the work has vanished.

One of the biggest frustrations I have had this year is the very obvious fact that there is work out there and employers are really struggling to get good people. Surely someone somewhere is joining the dots and realising that we need to get the people where the work is because in many cases the work isn’t coming to them.

Mike is onto it.  Work as to come to them.  They’re not willing to put themselves out in any way.  

The Government had an excellent idea – 3k to Christchurch. It was aimed at those close to Christchurch that might consider moving. People in places like Oamaru and Ashburton. You would get given $3,000 to relocate and get work.

In a nutshell it’s been a bust. Firstly not many have moved. Now not all want to, Iget that. But you can’t tell me there aren’t people with no real ties who could if they really wanted to shift to a big centre if it meant getting a decent job.

Of those that did move, half of them turned out to be crooks. 10 percent haven’t fulfilled their end of the deal. 32 are back on benefits. 12 have gone missing – the ministry doesn’t have a clue where they are. 12 are being investigated for fraud. Only 13 have been made to pay it back. So surely at this point we can ask the question, do these people really want work?

I think you’re onto it – at this level of unemployment, what you have left are the pee takers and the ones that will spend more time working the system than … working.

Some tough and honest questions have to be asked. If you don’t have work, do you really want a job or not? And is the reason you don’t have one because you have come up with a long list of excuses that are really just designed to stop you from ever working again? Wrong place? Wrong hours? Wrong skills? Wrong pay? And if that’s the truth, at what point does the taxpayer go ‘if you’re not up for it, fine but don’t expect us to keep forking out cash for you to sit and make up more excuses’?

 

– Newstalk ZB

 


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  • ex-JAFA

    Just today, I found a job on WINZ’ online job board which appealed to me. It’s minimum wage and a 30-hour-per-week rostered shiftwork position, but I’m keen to do anything I can which pays more than the dole, so I applied. I got a phone call within the hour from the job placement person at WINZ telling me that I wouldn’t be put forward because the employer was looking for a labourer – basically a monkey, not a professional who was prepared to do monkey work.

    She’s disheartening sometimes, I tells ya.

    • Alright

      This is gob-smacking.

    • Wallace Westland

      If you’re in Auckland I’d say I’d have a pretty good chance of getting you something along those lines. Better than min wage not shift work (usually) and a willingness to swing a shovel but it wouldn’t start till the new year.
      I have a lot of contractors and they always seem short staffed. Sure someone would take a willing worker with a lot more than half a brain.

      If one of the mods will give me an email addy I can send mine too they could then pass it on to ex-JAFA maybe?

      Oh and since ya an ex jafa maybe you’re not in Auckland but we could still try contractors in other regions.

      Not promising anything. But I’d love to try help.
      And WINZ are stupid, work first worry about position later.
      You got the right idea. One way or other I bet you come out on top.

      • ex-JAFA

        Thanks Wally, I’m in Tauranga. I don’t have a build entirely suited to labouring, but I’d at least consider any opportunity. Mods have my permission to pass on email address if you think you can help.

        • Vlad

          Best of luck ex-JAFA I hope it works out for you.

          • Kiwibabe

            Fantastic Aucklanders! Good luck jafa.

        • Karma

          I hope you find something soon ex-JAFA. Best of luck.

        • Wallace Westland

          We don’t do much (if anything) there but I still know people. I’ll ask around. And to be honest if you are able bodied and have a drivers license you’d be surprised what you can do. Not all labourers are hulks.

          On top of which dem wot got da brains don’t get to hold da shovels for too long eh bro? :) hehehehehehehe

          Lots of luck.

          Mods if you see this drop an email addy I can flick my details too. Although I guess disqus has mine. Whatever suits.

          • Nige.

            [mod] done

    • Isherman

      Chin up chap, because you are A: Willing, and B: Looking, I’m sure an opportunity will arise eventually. Best of luck, and dont let it get you down too much over the Xmas period. The New Year is often cited as a time when vacancies can be avaliable.

      • Disinfectant

        And to all those who aspire to get out there and work like “ex-jafa” note his good attitude.
        I have always said to people who are down on their luck, take anything that comes along. By doing so you are back engaging in Society and getting to know what is going on and opportunities open up.
        By siting at home nothing happens as you simply are not in the loop.

        • Wheninrome

          Unpaid Charity work is a great way to get engaged in the work place there are always places, Hospices, SPCA etc., you learn skills while doing these jobs i.e. computer updates etc.,

          • Karma

            And a lot of charity volunteers actually have paid jobs, so they may be able to keep an eye out for something for you.

        • Kiwibabe

          Spot on. I took a sizeable pay cut lasting 4.5 years working blinkin long hours outside my industry until a better opening came along, and all told I went through 4 jobs over 10.5 years of career frustration in roles and pay below my ultimate one. Thank goodness for retirement Yee haa! Lesson; perseverance and hard work, darn!

    • SlightlyStrange

      Oh ugh, I remember those days.
      A new graduate, I was forced to go to a job-placement seminar, and was told my benefit would be stopped if I didn’t attend, and if I didn’t take up one of the training options offered.
      Halfway through the seminar (3 hours long), I discovered that anyone with a degree couldn’t do any of the training options. So myself and another in the room were both forced to go back to our case officers and prove we should still get the benefit even though we didn’t sign up to their course.
      Or the days of trying to find my first office job – I was too “smart” to be offered an entry level role (they assumed I wouldn’t stay), but not experienced enough to get anything above it.
      I had to beg the courier company to take me on, because I needed someone to take a chance on me.
      Can you call the company directly and put your case to them?

    • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

      I hear ya. The hours pounding the streets door knocking and being rejected gets to you, but it does work and shows you have drive and determination.

      Good luck Mate.

    • Sir Brucey

      Exactly I have an Honours degree but have done lots of manual work. I cant even get an interview to pick zuccinis. I am 61 and can work most people half may age into the ground however i expect most employers see my age and that is it.

      • ex-JAFA

        Yes, I think my advanced years count against me somewhat, but it’s difficult to disguise them in my CV because my time in various previous roles lasted so long that the alternative is to pretend I have little experience!

        I suspect that WINZ is happy(ish) for me to remain on the dole for the timebeing. Partly because I’m clearly a professional and am actively trying to get a job – unlike many of their other clients! – and also because I only cost them the bare minimum. I just get the $209/wk jobseeker allowance, not a housing supplement (I own my house outright), child support benefits (I kept it zipped, sweetie), or other additional benefits that cost WINZ/you far more than I take.

        • HR

          Where are you located, and what’s your experience?

    • Kiwibabe

      Yeah I had real trouble couple of times getting work despite having superior skills, very hard working, plenty of quals and history of achieving superior results, but unfortunately in a specialised field in a tough industry dominated by troublesome employers. Final solution was to retire from that nonsense!

  • Benoni

    I was looking at adverts for trailers on trademe and, by mistake, came across large numbers of “truck and trailer” drivers wanted. These are positions anyone can aspire to and are well paid and in huge demand. Not to mention the big satisfaction of driving a big rig ! In N.Z. there is work aplenty and money to be made and saved if you desire it enough.

    • Wheninrome

      There may be work a plenty as you say and good money to be made. The word “DESIRE IT” leapt off the page.
      Another problem is the drug testing, clean drivers, these are expensive pieces of equipment they would be operating. A lot just won’t pass the test.

      • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

        Perhaps a drug test for the dole should be a requirement too.

        • Wheninrome

          It is a real problem within the farming business, particularly on dairy farms hence the overseas workers, particularly from the Philippines, they want to work, are willing and often have degrees in a related subject. They seem happy to start at the bottom, good wages and progress. Your average 17 – 18 year old doesn’t want an excellent wage, accommodation and sometimes some food thrown in, let alone giving up the weed and being clean when on duty. They fail the drug test.

          • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

            We have a pile of Philipinoes just recently started at work and they are hard workers. Cant deny some angst initially with foreigners taking the jobs. But they are damn good workers and have fitted in pretty well.

            If a foreigner with english as a second language with no skills and no referees can get a job in NZ before a Kiwi can you have to have a serious look at the calibre of Kiwi applicants or their willingness to work.

          • Wheninrome

            Absolutely, I remember being chosen in England for a job over an English person, because “Kiwis work hard”. Rather funny when you think about it, but then I was motivated and had reasons plenty to work hard. Probably why I am retired early and able to spend my time playing golf and doing unpaid work.

          • SlightlyStrange

            The ones that make it to the UK have had to work and save reasonably hard to get there, given the costs and time involved in getting a flight, visa and initial accommodation covered.

          • Kiwibabe

            Exactly, and these South East asians are mostly such very nice people, honest, friendly, and just want to become kiwis, oh and get ahead and look after themselves, and ensure their children become well educated.

        • Sagacious Blonde

          On the job seeker allowance, since the 15th July 2013 it is now a requirement if the issue arises.
          From the WINZ website Drug testing by employers and training course providers clause: …”If you have work obligations and refuse or fail a drug test when required by a potential employer or training provider, you’ll have a chance to talk with us before your benefit is affected”….

          My understanding is that if you fail or refuse the test again after 6 weeks, your benefit is cut by half.

    • Huia

      Come on Benoni, that means doing a bit of study and actually getting up early in the morning. Much easier to mooch around the town all day.

      • Benoni

        Aspiration and work are a bit like exercise. If you are not used to them it requires effort to get started. But once you are going they lead to some of the great pleasures in life. People need to be a little bit more hedonistic and really go for a good time.

  • Vlad

    I think there is a little space here for the blog: there are people who would like a job who find the WINZ and related processes trapped in PC nonsense.

    Looks like there are lots of people on this blog who have businesses who would give battlers a go.

    It would be great to see them get together.

    • Cadwallader

      In principle what you suggest is absolutely correct. The problem is that it can take several months to figure out whether someone is actually a battler and not a bludger. I have hired both categories over the years, and the battlers are worth the perseverance.

    • Cowgirl

      I think that is a great idea. I see no reason why people who want to work should have trouble finding any sort of job. My husband’s situation is a source of frustration in this regard – he is highly qualified and has some good experience, just not years and years of it and much of it is related to the jobs he wants, but sort of tangentially so rather than directly. We have moved countries to give him more opportunity, but it seems many HR people just want to fill jobs with people who have been doing the exact same thing for 10 years, rather than give a chance to someone who they would have to give a bit of training to, but who is more than capable of learning just about anything in short order, and who is desperate for the work.
      I went to 1 interview and was offered the job immediately because of experience, he has struggled even to get interviews and it breaks my heart. I don’t know how he keeps going.

      • MaryLou

        My cousin lives on Vancouver Island (although does get off it most days), and I had reports from her early on in the GFC that there were people moving into parks and sleeping on benches all over the place. Has the situation in Canada settled?

        You and your husband sound like strong people – I wish you all luck

        • Cowgirl

          Thanks ML. I think we’re pretty tough but until I get a work permit, we are a bit stuck until he gets something. Thankfully we have good family support here.
          I would say there seems to be plenty of low-skilled jobs about and they don’t seem hard to get. Unfortunately he wants a job in the city, provincial or federal government and they just don’t want to know you if you haven’t got 5-10 years experience doing exactly the same job. I don’t think Canada is in a good a shape as NZ, but it’s a bigger market and it’s doing ok. We are in Alberta which is expecting an oil boom.

          • Pharmachick

            Good Luck CowGirl. Here in BC we hear that Ottawa has made a total mess of the Temp. Foreign Worker Permit by cracking down on it (for no apparent reason) and are urgently reviewing … there’s not enough lifties, guides and ski instructors in Whistler or Banff this year because of the mess. We heard recently should be better come January.

          • Huia

            My son runs mountain bike downhill training out of Whistler. Never had any trouble getting work over there in the off season either.

          • Pharmachick

            If he’s a resident its all good. Its the temporary foreign worker permits that have been held up for the last 6 mo.

          • Pharmachick

            PS Your hubby could try U of A administrative positions – very similar to govt. and most Unis will take a punt on a strong candidate.

          • Cowgirl

            Thanks – I will suggest it to him. He applied for plenty of Uni jobs in Auckland, but I think his CV is much stronger again now.

  • john Doe

    A bloke came to work yesterday and asked me to sign a WINs form saying that he had visited and that I had no work. I called his bluff and offered him a job. He said “na I don’t want to work just want you to sign the form”. I sent him on his way without a signature.

    • Lemuzz

      Exactly the same thing happened to me a few years ago.

    • ex-JAFA

      Reminds me of the Spike Milligan “Irish Astronauts” clip from last night’s Backchat. Spike (as a job applicant) asks, “Any fear of work?”, then when the job centre guy says yes, everyone else bolts for the door and windows.

  • unitedtribes

    My Dad went from Arrowtown to Napier to get work to rebuild Napier after the 1931 Earthquake. Whilst there he met my Mother and we can see how that all worked out. Neither are still alive

  • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

    When I staretd looking for work after shifting to Chch (my wife and I relocated just in time for the quake – bugger). I had dumbed down CV’s, and taylor made CV’s for various jobs. They were correct and I didnt lie but I omitted some details (university papers arent something wanted for labourers – they want workers not thinkers – so I left them out) or I specifically arranged my application letters and CV details to suit the job I was applying for. Still found it hard.

    After doing the rounds the old fashioned way (door knocking) I had better results and eventually found work (moved later through an agency to better work). The jist of the conversations I had were that jobs werent advertised online as the WINZ time wasters were sent along to interviews and instead of time being spent singling out the correct applicant from those interested, it was wasted on people who didnt want the job but were forced to turn up an apply. One place had 40 applicants and when the boss asked who was there because WINZ sent them but didnt want the job over 30 put their hand up – he signed their papers and sent them off. Lots of places use agencies now to weed out the time wasters now.

    But I digress.

    In Chch we have thousands of migrants working in various occupations and during the course of my work I have heard the same thing come up. “Cant get Kiwi’s willing to work or who are qualified to do the job, so We employ migrants”. It would seem the average WINZ trougher would rather sit at home being paid a low wage than go out and earn a better wage. Cant say I blame them somedays but I feel good about my contribution and know that I have made a difference (and am a good role model for my Nephews and nieces – no kids of my own). Sure it doesnt pay much at the bottom of the ladder but unless you are lazy and untrustworthy then the bottom of the ladder isnt some where you stay for long.

    • Wheninrome

      The Boss should be ashamed for signing the papers.

      • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

        Perhaps but his time was valuable I guess and he was frustrated maybe. Dont know his personal reasoning but I could see his frustration. Better he flicked them off than sit through an interview wasting his (and other staff time) and then have to sign they attended.

        To be fair I dont think a lot of the WINZ staff give a toss as long as the paper is signed – their concious is clear.

        • Wheninrome

          Put like that I can see why, but this is a major failure in the system and why these “not keen and don’t want to work ” individuals continue their merry way at the tax payer’s expense.

          • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

            Agreed.

        • Groinpiece

          I employed a young guy througb WINZ, and depite a bit of a shakey start he has turned out to be very good value and will be starting an apprenticeship very shortly.

          Anyway, I can’t speak highly enough of the WINZ person I’ve been dealing with. She has been incredibly helpful all the way through and I wouldn’t hesitate to use their services again.

    • Huia

      When I was employing (had a staff of about 90), I wouldn’t sign the winz forms, I would say to the applicant that I needed to see them dressed suitably for the position before I could offer them employment, a swandri, ripped trackies and bare feet are not something to be worn when seriously applying for a position in a top hotel dining room.

  • Muzza3

    Hi ex Jaffa, I have a cleaning company here in Tauranga, I have about 25 cleaners working all different hours.
    I can’t offer anything permanent at the moment , but if the mods allow it I will give you my phone no, I do need a relief cleaner , for hte ones on leave , etc.
    Chances are it could led to full time.
    So give me a ring on 0800 787 225
    Cheers
    Murray

    Mods: if not allowed please forward to Ex Jaffa, not a con, I own SupaClean here in Tauranga

    • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

      Good on ya Muzza!!

    • Tom

      Legend

  • Matt Pearce

    Dairy farmers are employing filipinos because they cant find NZers willing to do the work, whenever I hear about people that cant find work, I remember that we have to import workers.

    • Aucky

      When you speak to farmers who have employed Fiipinos there’s no way they will want referrals from WINZ. Bloody good workers and some have already progressed to sharemilking. They can’t believe their luck!

      • Excitedly awaiting Whodunnit

        That’s been my experience with them in my industry too.

      • Matt Pearce

        Exactly, It shows there isn’t a lack of work but a lack of Willingness to work

  • Curly1952

    Very well written and thought out editorial by Mike Hoskin. Compare him with Smalley and others . ZB management must cringe sometimes.
    Mike appears to be able to cut through the rubbish and go straight to the point no matter what the subject.
    It is easy for a number of the population to play the victim instead of saying – ” If it is to be it is up to me”

    • Aucky

      Unfortunately Curly the new ZB management aren’t cringing – Smalley is just the vanguard of what is to come. They now have the same ownership as the Herald. Have you noticed the the news on the hour seems to be basically the headlines read out of the online Herald? Smalley won’t be content with a one hour graveyard slot forever – she will be hanging out for a full on shift. I wonder why they didn’t give her Watson’s slot but then maybe something better is coming up.

      • Cadwallader

        Hey Aucky, I am trying to eat my dinner. The thought of wall to wall Smalley is vomit inducing. Danny Watson’s shift would’ve been OK for her as nobody seems to listen until Larry comes on at 4pm.

      • Curly1952

        Yeh I have noticed. Usually emotionally driven garbage that actually turns people off. I had a couple of drinks at the local on my way home tonight. There is an eclectic lot ain my group and to a man they are real brassed off with the way news is presented and the rubbish that is played out in Parliament. The left have no show of gaining any traction whilst they keep on the current tack and the press support them

  • ozbob68

    It seems that people are forgetting its not just a global economy, its a global job market too. I work in IT and are one of the few western europeans in my area (there are 2 POMs and the rest are asian, indian and eastern europeans). It was the same in the UK too, so it’s not just locally where you are competing for work, it’s the rest of the world.

  • kayaker

    Mike, Leighton, along with today’s editorial in the NZ Herald (yes, I needed a lie down too, Cam) are onto it.

  • andrewo

    3k to go to Christchurch is sort of OK. But I have a better idea.

    How’s about 4K to go to White Island?

    • Kiwibabe

      And come back under own steam, plenty there.

    • Why don’t we put a zero on it for the Somalis to go back home.
      It will be cheaper for us in the long run.

  • Bretto

    I think part of the problem is expecting others to “give” you a job. Anecdotally there aren’t a lot of Asian immigrants on the dole, instead they start restaurants, ironing businesses, etc. In a country where it takes $80 and 15 minutes to register a company, there is no excuse for not earning money. Except lack of effort.

    And to correct Mike (at the same time reinforcing his argument) the unemployment figures don’t count those not looking for work, however there will always be those “between jobs” so zero unemployment is unattainable.

    • Kiwibabe

      Yes and more public opinion is shifting to the simple reality of life; “if you want to eat, you have to work hard.”
      Social policy is and must convey that.
      Asians are you can bet absent from so called poverty. Why? Simply they believe work equals money. Not having a NZ education and much English does not stop them taking very good care of themselves and from ensuring their children are well schooled. They don’t drink, smoke, or waste money.
      Poverty is a cultural – social issue which ill-managed welfare fosters.

  • A couple of basic points: full employment is not some static percentage (Beveridge may have said 3pc, but it depends on a number of factors in the relevant economy). To say that New Zealand’s current natural rate is 3% is very…brave (unless there is some current research that indicates that rate). And why does it actually matter? What does full employment represent? The answer is not some natural rate of wastrels, but transitional unemployment (people who are actually looking for jobs, which could be due to involuntary unemployment, moving to a new location, etc.). Trying to drop unemployment below this rate tends to be inflationary, which is why economists have such a concept of full employment being above 0% unemployment. By reducing the unemployment rate below the rate of full employment, labour becomes simply too scarce for employers (as there is, literally, nobody to take on jobs), which simply puts up wage pressures (without any corresponding increase in productivity).
    So with all due respect to Mike, I don’t think knocking people in the transitional group is very sensible. There are plenty of people in NZ who are wastrels and lazy, but they don’t tend to be included in the unemployment rate, and while there may be people sitting in random bits of NZ who simply refuse to move, even if there are prosperous bits with demand for workers, I don’t think that’ll represent 3% or 5.5%.

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