The Dim-Post

June 25, 2009

Hell’va juxtaposition

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 3:39 pm

First this:

Education Minister Anne Tolley says there is no more money to fund extra places in polytechnics during the recession.

Between 6000 and 8000 students would be turned away because of the Government cap on places in the following year, Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) New Zealand executive director Dave Guerin told Radio New Zealand this morning.

“We will have institutions closing their doors in the second semester,” he said.

Then this:

Thousands of beneficiaries could soon be flipping burgers under a deal between Work and Income and McDonald’s.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett revealed the agreement during a select committee meeting at Parliament yesterday. The agreement will provide up to 7000 unemployed for the fast-food chain’s restaurant expansion plans over the next five years.

I don’t actually think it’s a bad idea to put long term unemployed to work flipping burgers, but it would be a disaster to have people who could be actively seeking work stuck serving french fries instead of looking for a real job. And many of those people trying to sign up to polytech are going to be recently unemployed who want to train or upskill, their polytech course represents an investment – sticking them on the dole is simply lost money, even if it costs slightly less in the short term. As for sending people to McDonalds instead of retraining them – wasn’t this supposed to be a government that was ambitious for New Zealand?

Seems to me that one of the obvious things to do at the job summit would have been to anticipate the rise in unemployment, ask the public and private sectors what skillsets they’re currently short of and budget some money into extra training facilities for those jobs. Why not use the recession as an opportunity to train up some more nurses, cops and software engineers? With an estimated 60,000 additional unemployed projected there’s a pretty big talent pool to draw from.

My other free idea to anyone who might be listening is a ‘See New Zealand First’ tourism campaign to boost the domestic market; the recession means it’s a pretty good time to be travelling in this country, all the hotels have discounts and the tramping tracks aren’t full of Germans. It would be much better for the economy if people spent their spare cash here instead of pissing it away in Australia or one of the Pacific Islands.

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19 Comments »

  1. So fiscal stimulus on productive parts of the economy has more to do with growing fast food chains rather than a properly skilled workforce??? Go figure…

    Comment by Sam — June 25, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  2. I should have said fast food chains and prison building…

    Comment by Sam — June 25, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

  3. McDonalds actually has a very good training program for their chain-location management. The idea that all 7000 will be flipping burgers is patently absurd and ignorant.

    Comment by Phil (not Goff) — June 25, 2009 @ 5:25 pm

  4. I just wanted to point out a couple of other things that winz have recently done that might have slipped under the radar. The first is having implemented a new automated phone service, you know the kind that asks you to speak your details to a computer that then directs you the correct point of service. To my mind this is not a service improvement as there is no real differetiation of services that can be offered by winz through their phone service. The second is and automated email (in other words, spam) that is deleivered to clients every week supplying a link to trade-me jobs. This had me wondering what sort of money trade-me was making out of this arrangement. A ppp i know… and one with a very wasteful and annoying outcome.

    Comment by matthew — June 25, 2009 @ 5:28 pm

  5. i writing that I just had the thought that that weekly email from winz might somehow contravene the recent anti-spaming laws…

    Comment by matthew — June 25, 2009 @ 5:33 pm

  6. “The idea that all 7000 will be flipping burgers is patently absurd and ignorant”

    too right. have to work your way up from cleaning toilets, to the deep fryer before they let you anywhere near a spatula. let alone manning the counter…

    the only way is up! dream of one day attending McDonald’s French Fry University

    Comment by nommopilot — June 25, 2009 @ 6:20 pm

  7. “Seems to me that one of the obvious things to do at the job summit would have been to anticipate the rise in unemployment, ask the public and private sectors what skillsets they’re currently short of and budget some money into extra training facilities for those jobs. ”

    I thought everybody knew: doctors, we need more doctors.

    Hasn’t history learned us that a father of three with a wife at home, when made unemployed, will not take up Poly study? The problem is that Poly study is a lengthy undertaking. The father (and the mother) will be out there looking for a job, almost any job. Older folk who take time out to study only do so after much careful planning.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 25, 2009 @ 6:37 pm

  8. Very ignorant: they have been using “clam shell” grills for years. It cooks both sides of the patty in half the time. Only need one grill chef, saves money.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 25, 2009 @ 6:40 pm

  9. Want to stimulate the economy? Give me a thousand bucks!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10580712

    I suspect National will be annoyed this has come out now, as they were probably hoping to make it their (entire) re-election manifesto.

    Comment by sammy — June 25, 2009 @ 7:56 pm

  10. I read “See New Zealand First” as “See: New Zealand First – the Winston Peters Experience!”.

    My eyes revolt.

    Comment by Miro — June 25, 2009 @ 8:04 pm

  11. I thought the term that WINZ will ‘provide up to 7000 unemployed for the fast-food chain’s restaurant expansion plans’ sounded really sinister. ‘McDonald’s will employ up to 7000 otherwise unemployable/long term unemployed people’, sure. ‘Winz will help McDonald’s hire up to 7000 people’, okay. But WINZ will ‘provide’ them? Last time I checked, the unemployed weren’t actually WINZ’s property, to be dished out to large companies.

    Comment by Helenalex — June 25, 2009 @ 10:28 pm

  12. Also, CF is probably right, but people should at least get the option.

    Comment by Helenalex — June 25, 2009 @ 10:29 pm

  13. “more nurses, cops and software engineers” hhahahahahahaha , do you imagine people like this just magically appear. All of these vocations need traing and lots of it. Its interesting you pick these three careers because they all need about five years hands on experience before you are any good at any of them. None of the “60,000 additional unemployed ” have the fortitude to stick out 5 years traing, if they did they wouldn’t be part of them anyway.

    Comment by Andy — June 25, 2009 @ 11:20 pm

  14. Awww, Sammy. You’re just sore that you didnt get the flat-screen plasma you ‘needed’.

    Comment by Phil (not Goff) — June 26, 2009 @ 10:07 am

  15. why is working at McD’s not considered a real job? Is that because BK tastes better?

    Do the people who run my F&C shop not have real jobs either?

    I’m just wanting to know what the dividing line is so I don’t get stuck on the wrong side.

    Comment by insider — June 26, 2009 @ 11:13 am

  16. why is working at McD’s not considered a real job? Is that because BK tastes better?

    It’s a low skill, minimum wage job. If you’re unmotivated and been stuck on the dole for a while it’s probably perfect, if you want to retrain as an engineer or a nurse, not so much.

    Comment by danylmc — June 26, 2009 @ 11:21 am

  17. SO you’re saying it is a real job for some but not for others? Doesn’t that apply to every job? I mean, being a doctor let alone a brain surgeon is not a real job for me, but that doesn’t mean it is worthless.

    Comment by insider — June 26, 2009 @ 12:30 pm

  18. “It’s a low skill, minimum wage job. If you’re unmotivated and been stuck on the dole for a while it’s probably perfect”
    It’s actually perfect for MOTIVATED people who are unskilled. Having worked there as a student, I saw plenty of non-motivated types get chewed up and spat out.

    “if you want to retrain as an engineer or a nurse, not so (perfect)”
    It’s good part-time income whilst you are (re)training, though.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 26, 2009 @ 1:05 pm

  19. Yes, clearly everyone who gets made redundant or has their business go under has no one to blame but themselves. The recession is just a coincidence, and anyway, bad things never happen to good people.

    Comment by Helen — June 26, 2009 @ 4:37 pm


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