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Guest Post: from a Fairy Godmother

Written By: - Date published: 6:50 pm, December 29th, 2014 - 36 comments
Categories: jobs, unemployment, workers' rights - Tags:

The Fairy Godmother posted the comments below on Open Mike.  

While looking for images to go with this guest post, I found this:

The Fairy Godmother (below) asks a very important and topical question about how young unemployed people can get help in finding a job, when they have been trying to get one for some time?

On a completely different topic what is to be done about youth unemployment. How do we help our young people who are qualified, intelligent and capable but can’t find work? How do we deal with annoying relatives who ask the awkward questions and want to give all sorts of advice which the young person already knows and is trying to do. Christmas is an awful time for this. It makes me want to weep. It seems as if no-one seems to accept that work is hard to get if you don’t have the contacts, and it must be the young person’s fault because they must be doing something wrong. Is there some sort of support group out there? And its not training that is needed she is really capable of a number of things it is a job.

I have been thinking about work for some time. I am fortunate to have a job even though it sometimes really hacks me off, and I have been looking for another one for the past two and a half years off and on to no avail. Nearly there 2nd on the shortlist but not quite. So I know that the competition is huge. Once my daughter said to me dispairingly there are too many people and another time she said the problem is not enough work it is not enough money. This I believe to be true. In my work we are often short staffed. If we had another team member we would be able to do our job really well and of course there would be one more job for someone. The money is going to highly paid managers who have an interest in keeping costs down. Money being siphoned off to a few is the reason for no jobs. There is loads of work that needs to be done.

36 comments on “Guest Post: from a Fairy Godmother”

  1. Murray Rawshark 1

    The problem is definitely not a lack of money. The filthy rich are filthier, richer, and more influential than ever. The lack of money in the right places is a symptom of the problem, which, to put it bluntly, is capitalism. We have made attempts in the past to address the distribution of wealth, and Picketty wants us to do it all again. But any solutions are only partial and temporary, and we end up back where we started from, except with a hotter planet.

    While we must look for work, and can’t survive without a pay packet, we also need to organise society quite differently. For example, while capital speculated on the housing market gives a bigger return than that invested in employment, jobs will not be created. Then we see that the poor are forced to work longer hours for less at the same time as Key, who makes something over $5 million a year, has time to lower his golf handicap. We need to change things, and my strong belief is that it needs to be done at the level of production.

    In the meantime, I wish your daughter luck with the job hunt.

  2. coaster 2

    It seems the case in a huge percentage of jobs these days to have the bare minimum of staff to complete the basic functions of a position and there is an unwritten expectation that staff will work an extra half hour to an hour unpaid.

    This could be seen as good management, but for the country if everyone was not allowed to work longer than there employment agreement stated, or not work unpaid extra time there would be very low employment.

    The 40 hour week was a great thing, but like others of my generation who got into employement at or after the employment contracts act came in we went/go the extra mile for our employers. It used to be swings and roundabouts, those workers who putIin extra got rewarded or there was a leeway for time in lou, extra time off for sick leave etc.

    something happened and now employers expect staff to do a bit extra unpaid, ut swings and roundabouts have been taken away along with all sorts of other things our grandparents fouggt for.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    The money is going to highly paid managers who have an interest in keeping costs down. Money being siphoned off to a few is the reason for no jobs. There is loads of work that needs to be done.


    That is the system we have and which has been built up over the last thirty years. One where the few get paid lots and which actively prevents work being done so that those few can have even more.

  4. Ad 4

    Unless you’re employed or at least Superannuated, Christmas is just a brutal time of year. I can see you are really struggling.

  5. The Fairy Godmother 5

    Thanks everyone for your kind words. What we need is for people to accept that this is a systemic problem not an individual one.

    • tracey 5.1

      systemic and more cruelly deliberately perpetuated.

      i am white and middke class and have been able to use my contacts to get job opportunities for recent school leavers living on the poverty line.

      who you know remains your best chance of getting that first decent step. That is an indictment on all of us.

      the work hard and get qualified rant at those on welfare is as big a con as the american dream. and is straight out of the same playbook.

  6. Ross 6

    There’s no easy answer to your concerns. I wish there were. But the world of work is gone. We are living the Chinese curse: interesting times. Change is happening so fast that future shock is no longer a theory. Our systems and laws need to catch up with the reality that it isn’t possible to keep everyone working for 40 hours a week. For a start, there is no need to. I recently watched in fascination as a factory turned out a brand new industrial excavator every 12 minutes. Total number of staff: 64. That includes managers, administration and engineers. I’m not sure if there was anyone who actually got their hands dirty. Computers are also rapidly encroaching on the service industry now. Hell, there are even robot bar tenders. They’ll make you any cocktail ever invented and chat about your problems while they do it.

    In the meantime we continue to lavish assistance on the socio-psychopathic entities that are making massive savings on wages and salaries as a result. Businesses exist for the sole purpose of realising naked greed. Anything and everything they say and do is NOT for your benefit. By law they are required to take as much money off you as they legally can; which also means as much as they illegally can, without being caught. For reasons that completely elude me we hurl money at these filthy scum and we let them frame our laws for us so that we will hurl more. And the governments that do so we return to power with an increased majority and the mandate to do more, and worse. Go figure.

    So Fairy Godmother, my advice to the young folk in your circle of influence who are looking for work is: don’t. It is an exercise in futility. Stop trying to play the stupid game that has bought us to this insane state of affairs. Relax. Put your feet up. Get together and start talking about what else you can possibly do. Sorry about the mess we’ve left you in. You figure out what to do about it because we sure as hell aren’t.

    • karol 6.1

      Ross, agree with a lot of your analysis, except the final paragraph – once people “put their feet up”, what do they live on? People still need an income, even though the job situation is becoming harder..

      • Ross 6.1.1

        The question was, how to get jobs. The answer is, there aren’t any. Zero hours and the working poor are the reality that the scum have managed to get enshrined in law. So, stop looking. Relax about the fact that there are no more jobs. A comment below talks about taxi driving. Have a look at Google driverless car technology. Within what’s left of my lifetime the profession of “Driver” – car, taxi, truck, ship, plane, whatever – will be gone. Forever. As noted: 64 people for one new industrial excavator every 12 minutes. And those excavators won’t need drivers either. And the factory won’t need the 64 that they have now. So put your feet up and start talking about alternatives instead because pretending that the past is still the present is why They can get away with zero hour contracts and the working poor.

        Yes, we still need incomes but incomes are NOT going to come from jobs as we know it. In the meantime there is a serious need to address the imbalance of wealth that has occurred because of this maelstrom of innovation. That will not happen if you are preoccupied with scrabbling for jobs that aren’t there. Stop looking and if you think you are going to starve, then starve. Do it publicly. Do it on the steps of parliament. Do it in droves, large groups of our youngest and finest. Lay down and die in the gutter and get eaten by dogs.

        While all that is going on, take the time to laugh and joke and talk among yourselves about the mess your stupid parents have managed to create for you and put your heads together and fantasize about how much better you could organise things than we have. Then do it.


  7. Coffee Connoissuer 7

    Anyone struggling to find work should get their taxi license. Do we need more taxi drivers? No but that’s not the point. If you know what customer service is then this could be a good option for some. Taxi drivers that drive for the right companies do earn (gross) $1500 -$3k per week. It is a good way for them to earn good money from early on. It teaches them people skills and gives them the freedom to study for a degree or higher qualification if they already have one.

    I realize this doesn’t fix the systemic problem but for many this will be a good interim solution where they can start earning some pretty good money from day one. Possibly enough to make a good start on a deposit for a house even.

    • Colonial Viper 7.1

      A dying trade mate, with airport company gouging, uber will be in NZ within the next 12 months, and the value of that taxi licence will gradually fall to zero. And I presume you can only earn that “good money from day one” if you own your own $25K vehicle to begin with.

      I realize this doesn’t fix the systemic problem but for many this will be a good interim solution where they can start earning some pretty good money from day one. Possibly enough to make a good start on a deposit for a house even.

      I think you are being really very optimistic. Here in Dunedin I can’t see many taxi drivers pulling in $300-$400 of fares a day let alone after GST, taxi company cut, vehicle costs, airport fees, etc.

  8. Barbara 8

    Here’s another thought about the unemployment situation. Companies generally now don’t fill a situation where a staff member leaves the firm. They just re-distribute the work around the existing staff members and slowly by attrition the company payroll diminishes. The Managers then get a pay increase or a bonus for their “good management” at the end of the year. I know personally a company where the staff has gone from about 65 plus to about 40 and the same work is being done. Go figure. This is called efficiency but the staff morale is very low which doesn’t make for a happy work place and the position of the person who leaves is then being being denied to the person who is job searching. It’s no wonder that work is terribly hard to find these days. NZ is not a nice place to live in these days unfortunately.

  9. saveNZ 9

    Become self employed. Look at what you are good at, and make a business around it. Years ago WINZ had a scheme where you could get the dole while you were starting a business. They put you on a course how to set up a company, pay GST etc. You put together a business plan for your idea and they had some people to provide help with it. Most businesses fail the first time, so it is a good way to gain understanding of how to go about being self employed but you still receive an income for your safety net. After 6 months it is reviewed and if you are succeeding you got the dole for another 6 months. Not only did it get you working but also educated you on how to pay your taxes and business responsibilities.

    As a legacy of Rogernomics people are very scared of employing people in this country. That is counter to the UK where ‘headcount’ is status so they employ as many people to manage as possible. There is a happy medium between the two.

    • tracey 9.1

      self employed is becoming more like contractor and the traps are endless. starting your own business requires a self confidence bith the school abd welfare systems eroded in most years ago.

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      That is counter to the UK where ‘headcount’ is status so they employ as many people to manage as possible.

      That is the stupidest thing I’ve seen anyone claim on The Standard today.

      As a legacy of Rogernomics people are very scared of employing people in this country.

      This idiotic claim being the second to stupidest thing that I’ve seen anyone claim on The Standard today.

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        It’s surprising that people can come on a political blog and write the bit about Rogernomics scaring employers.

        I think Donald Rumsfeld’s quote is appropriate here. In all its inane beauty. It sounds weird but not as much as the Rogernomic comment.

        The message is that there are no “knowns.” There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say there are things that we now know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don’t know. So when we do the best we can and we pull all this information together, and we then say well that’s basically what we see as the situation, that is really only the known knowns and the known unknowns. And each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.
        It sounds like a riddle. It isn’t a riddle. It is a very serious, important matter.

        There’s another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.
        Now that is succinct. Does it cover the original point, if it can be found?

      • saveNZ 9.2.2

        Under Thatcherism in the UK there were the massive redundancies so as a strategy the worker did what they needed to do to keep their job. One was increasing their departmental headcount for ‘padding’ for when redundancies come, as they target those easiest to fire in the positions of least power, which were typically smaller departments and last hired; and 2) hierarchy/status, as in the UK workforce, more status accrues when you have a bigger headcount in your department the more important your job must be. A lot is said about what employers do to ‘cut costs’ but the worker can fight back in a way that negates that. Hiring more people first. The problem is you get a large administrative workforce that seeks to justify their job while not really being necessary. It is starting to happen here too. Think councils and hospitals. Interesting to see how many people are in purely administrative jobs against someone actually in the field ‘doing something’. What then happens is the opposite of cost cutting, it is cost increasing while not really increasing productivity.

        Counter to that is that employers do not seem to want to employ people. Partly it is a sign of the times that employers are moving their employees into being independent contractors. There are clearly very negative effects for the employees when that happens. Here is an article from the guardian about a recent example in the UK

        My post was that if there are no jobs in real areas because of the above problems, an idea is you can actually try to become self employed and set up your own business. I am talking that maybe 15% of people it might work for, not suggesting the employers should be making their employees contractors. All business have to start that way somehow so why not instead of sending that high skilled educated worker to work in McDonalds (while the taxpayer pays a subsidy ‘corporate welfare’) they should be encouraged to set up their own business. Not everyone is capable of that, but WINZ should be encouraged to think of other alternatives to low skilled jobs. Maybe WINZ business courses are crap – improve them not dismiss them. At least it is training for a more motivating outcome.

        Personally I would prefer to try to set up my own business that to work in McDonalds and as a tax payer I would prefer someone to try out their own business if they are educated and motivated than getting some low end job that the tax payer subsidises on minimum wages, while they wait for that ‘dream job’ that might not really happen. If I was an employer I would prefer to see someone having set up their own business and be multi tasking for 2 years than working at a low paid service job.

        Also many jobs are going to be replaced but again you need to set up business to replace those replaced jobs. There will be more IT jobs, more alternative energy jobs like solar, creative sectors like new media, more infrastructure, more scientific jobs inventing and solving problems. You can’t try to stop the future you have to go with it.

        One thing that bothers me in these comments is that everyone is so negative but hardly anyone posts ideas for change. Get real the person is not going to be handed a job they have to really work for it, and it is very hard. Sometimes you have to try many things before you hit on the right one. Perseverance, flexibility, creativity and realism are valuable skills to have in life.

    • Andrea 9.3

      It is extremely rare for the people running these courses to be people who have ever gone through the start-up phase of an enterprise. They’re splendid at the compliance stuff and useless at market research, marketing, outsourcing, distribution and all the other survival basics.

      Looking at ‘what you are good at’ is absolutely no guarantee that people will want to buy your product/s.

      Being on the dole for six months while struggling to set up an enterprise – they’re having a laugh. It may take a lot longer before break even, particularly with an innovative product, and it will probably need financing. The banks probably won’t. Friends and family probably can’t – not should they have to take that level of risk in this commercial environment.

      “Most businesses fail the first time”… No. That’s people – and they may not be resilient enough to come back for another battering. Just look at the numbers of restaurants, gift shops, clothing stores, takeaways, that start, fade, fail. ‘Another day older and deeper in debt’.

      If it’s all sooo easy-peasy – how come so many aren’t plunging in to this carefree and affluent lifestyle??? The moment a self-employed person takes a holiday, falls sick, goes to a vital training – the business stops. The cash flow ceases. And they know – they’re working for an idiot.

      For some people, some personalities, self-employed is just fine – provided the local business ecology supports it. Little niche providers, often providing a ‘laggard’ service (the last ice-man for people who haven’t got a fridge yet).

      As a source of massive employment opportunities – no. Not self-employment. And, should any leap to ask ‘what’s your anwer, then?!’ If the answer was so flip-the-eyelids and there you are – we’d have been using it already, n’est pas?

      The opportunities and directions will have to be built. Co-operatives such as Mondragon, perhaps. Or Semler’s factory in Brazil. A possible basis. Otherwise, there’s not much in our industrial past here that provides a starting point, however much we need one. We’ll have to do the unthinkable – think.

      • greywarshark 9.3.1

        And another point about starting up a business, it often takes not six months to get going, but two or three years while you work all day and into the night, and make enough to feed yourself and pay the rent, or perhaps live in a car.

        There was a great story of someone (possibly USA or English) who got a now successful business going and lived in her car with her child keeping one step ahead of the welfare who would have parted them perhaps for ever. If anyone heard this woman tell her story and can remember who, I’d be obliged to know. I should have made a note of it at the time.

    • Brigid 9.4

      No winz didn’t pay the dole while you were setting up your business. IF your business proposal was excepted you received the equivalent of the dole in 6 week payments (I think). Each payment was made in arrears inclusive of GST. The ‘small business course’ was of dubious value. It was a totally useless and unhelpful scheme.

  10. The Fairy Godmother 10

    I thought of the self-employment angle too but am reminded of the wise words of an artist friend who sold her artworks for a while as a business. Unless you make enough to cover your costs you may as well stand on the side of the road and hand out $2 coins to people because that is what you are giving away every time you make a sale. Perhaps a co-operative or something but it would be pretty hard for a lot of young people unless they had capital and support from somewhere. Then if they are making and selling something they are competing with low wages and apalling conditions from third world countries.

    • McFlock 10.1

      That’s the thing about the “take a risk and reap the rewards” crowd – the definition of risk includes the possibility of ending up worse off than when you started.

      I’ve been thinking about your comment/post the last day or so, and I really can’t think of anything positive to say. Getting a job is largely a lottery of characteristics matching demand and then being luckier than everyone else with the same characteristics, and when someone’s young in this economy one doesn’t have that many lottery tickets to enter. All I can do is wish you and yours good luck.

    • nadis 10.2

      I don’t want to sound sanctimonious and preachy, but I’d share the following experiences as both a parent and an employer. One caveat is that my business has to date only employed either people with specific skills or students in their final year of study or just graduated. One of my children though went through a very stressful period lookinng for a teaching job where many jobs are actually unofficially filled before being advertised, but there is no way of knowing until you’ve wasted a bunch of time and money applying, going to interviews etc. And often jobs were granted because certain attributes were deemed essential (maleness, maoriness etc). Thats life.

      I do agree contacts are really useful, but look wider than just somebody senior at a business. You are really looking for leads, not necessarily a job. So contacts can be friends, sports club contacts, friends of friends, school connections etc. Get word out and don’t be shy to ask anybody and everybody “Do they know of any employment opportunities? Do you know anyone I could speak to about a job?”

      Also practice. Interview skills are important and can be learned. Do mock job interviews with a parent or a friend – and video them. And then critique yourself thoroughly. Everyone, no matter who will improve their body language, verbal expression etc by seeing themselves on video. And in the mock interviews get the employer to throw hard or obnoxious questions – its all good practice.

      The last thing I’d recommend is don’t just rely on job ads. Treat looking for a job like a marketing job. Spend time every day researching firms who you might like to work for. Phone up, ask to speak to the personnel officer or the manager in charge of hiring. Ask for a chance to come in and talk about a job. 9 times out of 10 you’ll get knocked back but personally I would always favour someone who pro-actively approached me, and if the approach gets you in the door before the job ad goes out, you’re starting one step ahead of all the other applicants. I’m also unfailingly responsive to anyone who cold calls or emails me about a job – I get how hard it is and even if I dont have anything (usually) I am friendly, and will try to give them some useful information – ie a list of companies in the same business that they could try. Takes no more than a minute.

      I don’t want to make out I think it is easy for people starting out or re-entering the workforce after time out – I get the lack of confidence people would feel – but putting as much structure as you can around your job search and asking people around you for help -even just as a sounding board is big positive. Best thing my daughter did was mock job interviews with a friend of mine who asked her to justify everything she said and explain more fully her answers – gave her a lot of confidence as she became more polished at explaining what she believed in and what she had to offer. Was never asked harder questions on real interviews that my friend asked her, and video analysis was hugely useful. Made subsequent real job interviews way less stressful.

      Good luck anyway.

  11. The Fairy Godmother 11

    Thanks nadis. That is useful advice on a personal level and hopefully it may lead to success. However I think we still need to acknowledge that the problem is a systemic one with not enough money to pay for the jobs that need to be done and too much money going to a few people. If we have success using your advice, and I hope we do eventually, there will be many more who miss out. There just has to be because there is “x” number of jobs and “y” number of applicants and “y “is many times greater than x. Simple mathematics which shows how hard it is to be part of a caring society which celebrates its young people and prepares them to take their part. Very easy to put it on the young person to try harder and fight others for the prize. Hunger games anyone?

    • nadis 11.1

      Sure – I don’t argue with what you are saying big picture, just trying to give practical feedback.

      Though I do recall the same sorts of discussions about young people and jobs in the 70s, 80s and 90s too. And before then too – I recall my father worked as an unpaid apprentice for 2 years before starting to earn.

  12. Ross 12

    Fairy Godmother, your question has been a great one. Sadly it has come at a dead time of year when everyone is off being happy. But it is a question that will keep resurfacing for all sorts of reasons, not least of which is the nature of work itself. nadis mentions past crises of youth unemployment in the 70s, 80s and 90s. I remember them well too, and also doing things like training for interviews and cold calling for leads. I always found a job and I scoffed at the naysayers that said there was no work. I thought they were just too lazy to go look.

    Now is different. I know you have heard it before, but now is different. If you have young people who are looking to you for advice by all means you can say things that will help them get employed. But you must also add, now is different, there is no more work!

    In the remains of my lifetime the profession of “Driver” will disappear. The technology to replace even airline pilots is here, now: tested, proven and ready to go. We have not only seen old technology replaced by new, but also new taken over by old to be taken over itself by something newer and better. Does anyone still use a fax? Remember typists, film processors or typesetters? And while the belief has always been that new technology made for new professions and more work, that is no longer the case.As businesses increasingly swap capital for labour all indicators in the “rich” countries are for a decline in available work . link

    So, the rich get richer because all of our laws and institutions are set in a place that no longer exists. The internet, for example, is the nervous system of the 21st century, essential for everything from communication to navigation to healthcare. It is the most significant achievement of human ingenuity in all of history. So what do we do? We hand control of it over to cartoon companies because they don’t like copying!

    The message is this Fairy Godmother: there is no more work because the world is completely insane. It always has been but change was always at a pace that allowed us to accommodate and adapt. No longer. This time it’s different. This is the message you must be handing on. It will be your greatest gift. The only help your young need is this message. The world is insane. There is no more work. Then step back and offer your support for whatever it is that they want to do, no matter how radical and unusual and strange it may seem to be. They have been born to this world. It’s nothing new to them. Give them the space they need to get together and start working it out. And be ready to be amazed.

  13. greywarshark 13

    @ Ross
    Don’t be so bleak. That’s no help to Fairy G. and children looking for work. What needs to happen is that we need a new circle of capital that revolves around at a lower level than that of the self-made gods and goddesses. We can assist those in communities who are already starting to do such things. Community gardens. Give your children something to do and learn the skill of growing things. If they don’t realise it, the food doesn’t pop up out of the ground just when you want it. Even mushrooms have to be nurtured.

    People and government at present are inane or insane. That is why we have been talking and thinking and worrying and acting and aiming at getting a better leader for Labour, an electable leader for Labour and a new outlook on policies for the people by Labour, all in one package. This year I think we have something and with more trying we can improve things to a livable level and all together lever up the logjam of deadweight policy that lies over our legs. Then we can get up and make change for the better.

    In the meantime. Here is a link that I picked up from Radio nz with an idea that local activists are doing.
    Furniture – Summer Report 29/12/14

    Pallet furniture event brings ‘carpentry to the people’ ( 7′ 38″ )
    08:47 Have you spent more time than you care to admit, on the internet, marvelling at the furniture people make out of old pallets?

    Ales and Nails events in your area: http://www.sociallab.co.nz

    • Ross 13.1

      tldr greywarshark? The final paragraph is not bleak, it is probably the source of the links you kindly offer. The message is, it’s fucked up. By us. It will be fixed, by them – the very young people we presume to advise after having made a complete cock up of it. I suspect it will be local initiatives like those you mention, along with organising principles like Anonymous and currency revolutions like bitcoin that will flower and usher in the new world that is possible now. What the young need is NOT advice on how to get a stinking job that pays less than it costs to get to. Nor how to spend every minute of their free time in the pursuit of it. What FGM should do is say, stop trying, relax, have some fun figuring out how to get from here to wherever there is. I’ll happily support you to do that.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        @ Ross
        You are bloody rude. You put a screed up at 12 which I read and replied to, I thought reasonably. And your reply is tldr. (Too long didn’t read.) Not much of a thinker and debater are you! You may be wasting your time and ours coming here.

        You’re talking fine theory. What people need is a working enterprise system. Unfortunately the pollies have just about destroyed that when they should have been negotiating tooth and nail to get our goods in with low tariffs, not streaking onto the trade negotiation hall, shouting we’re opening our gates, and losing their mojo. Now we have free markets and Christmas spending has been up, wait holding your breath for the latest debt figures from the finance companies.

        Consumerism is what is holding the country on track after dairy, tourism and housing. None of which provide both large job opportunities and regular fair working hours – local K Mart is open to midnight all the time – and decent salaries are not available. (Housing should be better but the pollies have abandoned planning, that’s for losers like the Chinese with their Great Leap Forwards – we prefer the scrabble backwards slowing ourselves by grabbing hold of roots of dying trees.)

        What unemployed people and their parents want is something positive and useful to go for though it’s interesting to read what might happen when people get sufficiently motivated. For now it’s better to take seriously what Nadis says at 10.2 and at the same time keep all the good points you made Ross in the back of their mind for the future so they can be part of making things happen when opportunities arise.

        In between preparing CVs and sending emails (I note that nadis said he replied to those, deserves a big tick as many-most don’t) and door knocking, set aside time to learn something – the ukelele, frisbee team play, woodwork, study one subject in an on-line tutorial, listen to a Ted talk, is there something free at a local polytech, wake yourself up with Slavoj Zizek. He is very energising. But don’t get down in your mind, do something involving learning, and don’t wait for other people to initiate everything. That’s most important as it tends to be a kiwi trait.

        • karol

          Good analysis, gw.

          Ross: What FGM should do is say, stop trying, relax, have some fun figuring out how to get from here to wherever there is. I’ll happily support you to do that.

          Nice idea, but young people still need an income to live on – hard to relax when there’s not enough money coming in. Only unemployed children of relatively wealthy parents will be able to sit back, relax, and figure out what to do next.

          It is good advice for people to work out what to they are best suited to doing, and the activities they enjoy most – and then to try to find ways to do those things, and, if possible, find some way to get paid employment in those areas.

          However, your happy support want pay the bills for the majority of unemployed young people.

          I do agree, that in the long term, attitudes to paid employment, and the way society is organised, need to change. But, while waiting for that to happen, young people also need more opportunities for paid employment.

  14. coaster 14

    3d printing.

    there will be a huge need for designers, inventers, producers of raw products, transport firms for raw products.

    passenger planes will never fly pilotless, just like cars without drivers wont become the norm. People (in particular guys) wont want a car they cant drive, just look at the popularity of top gear.

    work will always be there as we are social innovative cretures.

    in my opinion.

    • The Al1en 14.1

      “People (in particular guys) wont want a car they cant drive,”

      Anything that enables devoting more time to safely giving the finger to other road users than having to bother with gear levers or steering wheels should be encouraged.

    • Ross 14.2

      Passenger planes fly mostly pilotless now. He (or she) is only there to watch the dials and reassure the passengers. And sure, guys especially will always want to drive cars but robots are making them and no company is going to pay you to drive when an algorithm does it better, for nothing.

  15. coaster 15

    Cars might work in citys for taxis, no one will accept aircraft without a manual overide on board(pilot), I personally think we are heading into a cottage industry age with 3d printers where itens wont be mass produced but where everyone will print there own items. This will take work away from robotics and cheap labour, will reduce wastage of materials and create a hands on society.

    your 12 minute digger will be produced locally and have only the raw product as a transport cost.

  16. Huginn 16

    Thank you, Fairy Godmother, for asking this very important question.

    It’s incredibly difficult for people in this situation to get a job.
    However, engineering students are often getting job offers with good pay before they even graduate, so there is definitely work in technology, but most school leavers and new graduates don’t have the skills and there aren’t any incentives for employers to train.

    There is a real skills gap.

    My suggestion: have a look at some of the Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and use Meetup.com to access the informal interest groups around them.

    The MOOCs won’t give degrees, or certificates, but you can pick up valuable skills, eg in programming and testing. MOOCs courses are often produced by prestigious universities and can go to very advanced and even post-graduate level.

    The Meetups keep up the pace, They can work as an introduction to the networks that might get someone into a job. Bear in mind that a lot of these technology platforms are new, and it is possible to get in at the start when everyone is still finding their way around.

    Finally, I’d be very careful about getting into any training program through a tertiary institution that ends up with your young friends taking on more student debt. A lot of these have become cynical, money making enterprises. Look closely at what you’re getting before you buy into the product.


  17. A directly related point is the wages that the most available jobs provide, assuming you manage to land one.

    If you are working all your waking hours at a job for someone making money from you, shouldn’t that pay your bills to live? Not in unfettered capitalism. Even mildly regulated capitalism like ours only reluctantly bends to a minimum wage that is not a living wage, while allowing others to hoard wealth they couldn’t possibly use in a lifetime.

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