The Dim-Post

November 23, 2012

Impossible!

Filed under: general idiocy — danylmc @ 12:33 pm

Tertiary Education Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce has announced that he’s going to try and create 500 more engineering graduates per year by 2013!

There are twenty-five weeks in an a typical academic year, and forty working hours in each of those weeks. That’s a thousand hours. And Steven Joyce is proposing to create an engineering graduate every two hours! I’d like to see that!

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43 Comments »

  1. I’d also like to see how he’s going to do it considering second semester is finished and summer school doesn’t start until next year.

    Comment by Ben Wilson — November 23, 2012 @ 12:36 pm

  2. “By increasing the number of places available, the Government is on-track to make sure we are producing an extra 500 engineering graduates per year by 2017.” You’ve subtracted four years :-)

    Comment by Rob Singers — November 23, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  3. It’s a good plan. These will be necessary during the Second 5 Year Plan to build the several hundred Roads of National Significance which will bring the people boundless prosperity. Dare to think, dare to act!

    Comment by George D — November 23, 2012 @ 12:45 pm

  4. He’s confusing Engineering with the Humanities. Arts students can get through a year with 2 hrs of work but engineering is more time consuming.

    (although it was by 2017, not 2013)

    Comment by NeilM — November 23, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  5. Ummm….that’s 1000 TRAINING places next year and 500 graduates by 2017. Not as bad as you make it sound…

    Comment by PPCM — November 23, 2012 @ 12:46 pm

  6. Goes so well with his policy of cutting off postgraduate student allowances.

    Comment by Macbook Bro — November 23, 2012 @ 12:51 pm

  7. Um. I don’t see what the number of hours each student does in a given year has to do with the number of graduates. It means having an additional 500 students spread across all of the engineering programmes at the universities and polytechs (10 according to the IPENZ links) that have such programmes. If you count those institutions that pretend to have engineering programmes, not just the ones that are accredited by IPENZ, then it is a small increase in numbers at each institution.

    Comment by David from Chch — November 23, 2012 @ 12:52 pm

  8. houses, engineers, roads – that bloody economy better be getting stimulated sometime soon.

    Comment by NeilM — November 23, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

  9. Is this you getting this really, really wrong, or a dig at DPF that’s a tad too subtle?

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2012/11/labour_is_promising_a_new_house_every_13_minutes_of_the_working_week.html

    Comment by Nathaniel — November 23, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

  10. Yes, Trouble Man and Nathaniel. I also saw the DPF entry. But you see the comparison then would be to say that if it takes 1000 hours to build a house, then 10,000 houses is 10 per hour. That is an incorrect arithmetic calculation.

    It takes 1000 hours per year for each student, so taking 1000 hours and dividing by 500 is simply wrong. I didn’t even want to go near the house thing.

    Comment by David from Chch — November 23, 2012 @ 1:27 pm

  11. It’s not exactly like DPF’s piece was a masterpiece of sound reasoning either. The difference is that DPF appears to think he’s delivering a superslam whereas Danyl’s just being a dick.

    Comment by Trouble Man — November 23, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

  12. One engineer every two hours just means eight out of nine new houses with not have a qualified engineer’s oversight.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 23, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  13. Hmmm. I gather that for most the readers here, mathematical logic is not a forte.

    Comment by David from Chch — November 23, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  14. I suggest you link to DPFs (hilarious) housing post in the original to highlight the satire…

    Comment by garethw — November 23, 2012 @ 1:55 pm

  15. Jesus people. If you have to explain a joke then you have failed.

    Comment by David C — November 23, 2012 @ 2:21 pm

  16. “And Steven Joyce is proposing to create an engineering graduate every two hours! I’d like to see that!”

    Creating graduates is quick and easy with a few subsidies and a spam folder. I’m just not convinced I’d want to trust anything those graduates were involved in.

    Comment by izogi — November 23, 2012 @ 2:23 pm

  17. 40 hour weeks for students, no wonder this country is going to the dogs
    In my day we slipped into lectures for a full day on Monday, couple of part days for the rest of the week and nothing on Friday

    Comment by Raymond Francis — November 23, 2012 @ 2:39 pm

  18. David C@
    Ah, but the best kind of satire is mistaken for the real thing, as “mathematical logic” David from ChCh nicely demonstrates.

    Comment by RJL — November 23, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

  19. Yes, but RJL, if it was satire, then I would have hoped it would have been clearer and I note that a lot of people have taken Danyl’s ‘calculations’ as correct. I think it illustrates just how lacking in numeracy most people are, and it’s not just New Zealanders.

    Comment by David from Chch — November 23, 2012 @ 2:44 pm

  20. hopefully they won’t be leaky students

    Comment by Cnr Joe — November 23, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

  21. Raymond Francis @2.39pm
    Tell the nice people the full story.
    A full day (Monday) was 10.00am till 11.30am then 2.00pm until about 4.30pm wasn’t it?
    At least it was if you were anything like me.

    Anyway tear your hair out Danyl. You have an amazing number of humourless readers of the blog.

    Comment by Alwyn — November 23, 2012 @ 2:53 pm

  22. @David from ChCh
    Maybe failure to spot satire demonstrates a lack of literacy and/or logic?

    Fortunately, though, it’s not just New Zealanders.

    Comment by RJL — November 23, 2012 @ 2:57 pm

  23. But the way Danyl presented it, he was satirising Joyce’s _announcement_, NOT the estimate of a new engineer every 2 hours. That seemed to be Danyl’s calculation. Otherwise, what was the point? Self-satirising? Go back and read it again!

    Comment by David from Chch — November 23, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

  24. Heh. Very good.

    Comment by dpf — November 23, 2012 @ 3:11 pm

  25. Oh, David.

    Comment by RJL — November 23, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

  26. “There are twenty-five weeks in an a typical academic year, and forty working hours in each of those weeks.”

    Like hell there are! We academics work a MINIMUM of 60 hours a week, devoted passionately to the uncovering of new knowledge and feeding the voracious thirst for knowledge exhibited by our students. And that’s a MINIMUM, I tells ya!

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — November 23, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

  27. Who cares about the policy numbers, did the announcement help Steven Joyce smack down Judith Collins?

    Comment by sammy 2.0 — November 23, 2012 @ 4:08 pm

  28. #25 “Heh. Very good.”

    Why is it good? Because it points out the flaw in your post? That dividing number of units by time is a meaningless figure if you ignore system capacity?

    The “proper” way would be to say (in the case of DPF’s post) “How many man hours will these houses take to build?” and then “What capacity of manhours does the New Zealand building industry have?”. It will probably show that labour are extremely optimistic about where they’re going to find a small army of qualified builders, but there’s a pretty decent pool of unemployed people who could potentially be trained to build houses, (and if the houses are standardised and pre-framed in factories the economies of scale will help)… maybe there are more policies to come…

    The thing is, though, DPF, that my maths is pretty basic and I don’t make my living selling statistics to the government but the flaws in your methodology are quite obvious to me, so what’s your excuse for such a misleading rubbish post?

    Comment by nommopilot — November 23, 2012 @ 6:00 pm

  29. As a recovering economist, I particularly enjoyed this quote (from the herald’s editorial):

    “I’m watching them really closely to make sure they respond to what the market wants, and if they don’t, I can go and tell them how many they should enrol for each department.”

    who needs markets to process information when uncle steve is around!

    Comment by jps — November 23, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

  30. Academia doesn’t take a holiday

    Comment by max — November 23, 2012 @ 6:57 pm

  31. Nothing suprises me with this lot,as pointed somewhere else it
    would take 7yrs for engineers to get properly certified for the
    job,does he condense the training into 24/7 for trainees?
    Still probably not enough hours,even then.
    Joyce is usually full of noise and bluster,no surprises there.

    Comment by anne — November 23, 2012 @ 7:02 pm

  32. WTF? the cut and paste from Joyce is :”we are producing an extra 500 engineering graduates per year by 2017″ Not 2013.
    And anyway, whats wrong with that?

    Comment by gn35 — November 23, 2012 @ 7:55 pm

  33. “But the way Danyl presented it, he was satirising Joyce’s _announcement_, NOT the estimate of a new engineer every 2 hours. That seemed to be Danyl’s calculation. Otherwise, what was the point? Self-satirising? Go back and read it again!”

    Ok but its Friday night and you can be excused for reading the comments bottom up. Fair enough. But Joyce still does have a point. For once.

    Comment by gn35 — November 23, 2012 @ 8:03 pm

  34. @nommo: Don’t take DPF’s post as a willingness to engage with critics of his analysis. He’s merely trying to demonstrate that he is a good kiwi joker (TM) with a sense of humour (TM, patent pending).

    Comment by Hugh — November 24, 2012 @ 2:04 am

  35. If Joyce wants to spend taxpayer cash to ensure more engineering students I wish he’d invest it in stimulating the kinds of jobs they’d be willing to train for, and assisting employers to recruit them, rather than threatening to penalise educators for the heinous crime of meeting a proven existing market demand for humanities and lower-level foundation students.

    Comment by Lee C — November 24, 2012 @ 7:57 am

  36. “Don’t take DPF’s post as a willingness to engage with critics of his analysis”

    Heh. Wasn’t really expecting (or caring about) engagement, but I couldn’t bring myself to comment on the Kiwiblogh.

    Comment by nommopilot — November 24, 2012 @ 12:30 pm

  37. And yet Peter Williams repeated a variation on Farrar’s bullshit this morning on breakfast T.V. as a criticism of Labour’s housing policy. The intellectual laziness, lack of curiosity and downright stupidity of acting as a repeater on state T.V. of a widely and immediately ridiculed piece of spin from a government propagandist defies belief. Something to remeber next time “MSM” journalists get up on their hind legs to criticise the blogsphere.

    Comment by Sanctuary — November 26, 2012 @ 10:45 am

  38. Excluding apartments, there were just over 14,000 consents issued for new dwellings over the last year.

    Shit on Farrar as much as you want – I don’t care and neither, I suspect, does DPF. That doesn’t change the fact that Labour’s policy is, in this case, BONKERS.

    http://www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/industry_sectors/Construction/BuildingConsentsIssued_HOTPSep12.aspx

    Comment by Phil — November 26, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

  39. well i kinda missed it, both the satire and the “impossibility”… i just already had Joyce’s “if the University of Auckland needs me to be the highly visible hand of the market, I shall be that highly visible hand” statement already in mind so i even missed that i missed the satire.

    hint: not everyone reads kiwiblog ;) i probably would if the posts were less frequent and comments were switched off…

    Comment by kim — November 26, 2012 @ 12:33 pm

  40. Both Danyl and Joyce are skewered on this.

    Well it is the barbecue season where I live.

    Anyone for a pair of raw prawns (limp)?

    Comment by peterlepaysan — November 26, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

  41. OK, on a more serious note.
    Why is the captain of our cricket team wearing a nose stud?
    Did they(cricketers) like the netball team,jump the fence when no one was watching?

    Comment by frank_db — November 26, 2012 @ 11:23 pm

  42. ? I don’t see Ross Taylor wearing a nose stud.

    Comment by mike — November 27, 2012 @ 2:05 pm


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