Oddly the Standard hasn’t received its invite to the “job summit” yet. I’m sure this is just an administrative error but just in case it’s not I’d like to offer the National/Act government a few ideas for their consideration.
I’ll start with three of my favorites, none of which will surprise regular readers:
1. Home insulation
Put the Green’s housing retrofit fund in place. By doing this you’ll aid the ailing building sector, provide work for unskilled and semi-skilled workers and save money on energy, Kyoto payments and costs to the health system as well as increase the productivity of the work force. You might even win over a few more Labour voters next time around.
2. The railways
I know you don’t like the trains and I know you’d dearly like to sell them but let’s face it they provide a very efficient method for transportation of goods around the country and they are run down to buggery. Add electric light rail into the mix and you can do something about the congestion that costs NZ billions of dollars in lost time. You’d be providing a lot of jobs and helping insulate business against future oil shocks. Because they are coming. I suggest you start with the tunnels that are too small for international standard containers.
Make it compulsory for large businesses to take on a quota of apprentices. The last time you were in government you destroyed the apprenticeship system and claimed the market would sort it out. It really really didn’t. That’s why we had a major skills shortage during the last boom and still do in some industries despite the recession. We might see an upswing in the next three years. That’s about how long the average apprenticeship takes. Imagine going into an upswing with enough skilled workers to cope with the demand!
There are plenty more ideas including decent broadband (when will we see the plan for that?), incentives for productive capital investment, funding for research and development and upgrading public amenities but I think it’s time to throw open the floor to our learned commenters to give their ideas on how to stimulate the economy and provide jobs. The government doesn’t seem to be able to come up with anything solid so let’s give them a little help.