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.
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.