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Rhetoric & Reality 2: Jobs

Written By: - Date published: 1:29 pm, June 4th, 2009 - 6 comments
Categories: employment, flip-flop, john key, national/act government - Tags:

Before the election National’s “Employment & Workplace Relations” policy set out the principle of “building opportunity for all”, and the need to “Expand job opportunities for those having difficulty getting work -like young, inexperienced people or new immigrants.”

The Job Summit talk-fest paid plenty of lip service to the importance of jobs:

Key: [Jobs] count for real people. They matter for the families and loved ones who depend on them. Our task today is to come up with practical, achievable steps we can take to save and create as many jobs as possible.

There has been plenty more rhetoric:

Key: The Government’s Jobs and Growth plan aims to have as many people in work as possible during this recession, while ensuring recovery, and the jobs it will bring with it, comes as soon as possible.

English: We are particularly concerned that the economy creates new jobs. The burden of a recession falls most harshly on those who lose their jobs and on their communities. We owe them every effort to create the opportunity for a new job.

Key (on 18 March): You can expect the National-led Government to show an ongoing commitment to apprenticeships, industry-based training, and skills development.

And so on. Now today, the reality:

Budget tighten-up axes jobs scheme

A subsidy scheme that has financed more than 200 projects to create local jobs around the country has been axed.

This was a cheap scheme creating jobs at the local level, just the sort of thing we need. Now it’s gone.

6 comments on “Rhetoric & Reality 2: Jobs”

  1. r0b 1

    Seems to be a typo re the last link.

    “A subsidy scheme that has financed more than 200 projects to create local jobs around the country has been axed” appears in the article and should be quoted.

    “This was a cheap scheme creating jobs at the local level, just the sort of thing we need. Now it’s gone” is not a quote from the article.

  2. SPC 2

    So thats no retraining on the job with the 9 day fortnight and a decline in help funding apprenticeships and programmes which invest in job growth.

    Along with real cuts in tertiary funding – this is not a government that invests in people (it reminds me of the 75-84 sinking lid and the 90-99 government which refused to invest in training prefering work for the dole …).

    Upskilling workers, investment in (R and D) productivty, closing the Tasman wage gap – they are budgeting for lower wage growth here than in Oz.

    How long until their traditional claim of support to families is exposed by their opposition to WFF?

    All they are loyal to is tax cuts for the few – the 30 cents top rate mantra and ways to boost the profit-making of a few …

  3. Kevin Welsh 3

    This is all business as usual for these clowns.

    Its keeps a lid on wages which keeps the BRT (union for employers) happy and shows what a farce it is when they speak of getting wage levels on a par with Australia.

    The rich get richer and the poor continue to be reminded exactly where they stand in the grand scheme of things.

  4. Rex Widerstrom 4

    This is exactly what they did when they came to power in the 90s. At that time there were a large number of Workskills Training Schemes and similar set-ups, run by community groups ranging from the Salvation Army (which undertook it in a huge way) to small, local organisation who had maybe one worker to help them in the office.

    Not all were effective but the majority were. And many stretched the income from these projects to help fund other welfare work they did in the community.

    On the basis that a few such schemes weren’t producing the desired results, National axed them all, not only adding the trainees to the list of unemployed but also most of the trainers and administrators.

    When this didn’t motivate these “lazy” people to somehow magically get themselves jobs, they introduced (under the delightful Christine Rankin, who was only too pleased to do their bidding) work-for-the-dole, with harsh penalties for refusal.

    So people went from, say, learning the basics of a trade because they wanted to, to clearing gorse from the roadside because they had to. And – much to the surprise of the government, no doubt – the market for gorse-cutters didn’t suddenly expand to employ them all.

    At the time I attributed the politics to the personalities involved (Shipley, Rankin and to a lesser extent Richardson). Seems I was wrong…

    [Disclosure: I was employed by one, and later managed another, such training scheme. When funding was cut I lost my job, suffering a period of unemployment as a result. I had voluntarily left a corporate position to undertake this work, so the net effect in my case was to add one extra person to those reliant upon the taxpayer].

  5. IrishBill 5

    And let’s not forget the abandonment of the apprentice scheme in the 1992 (or was it 1993) budget, Rex and the subsequent skills shortage that stopped us taking full advantage of the last boom and helped increase inflation.

    They’ve capped skills training this time (an effective real cut) despite the fact rising unemployment offers increased opportunities to upskill the workforce. I somehow doubt we will be closing the wage-gap or increasing productivity anytime soon.

  6. Jasper 6

    Theres also a serious shortage of qualified insulaters. BRANZ (I think) were saying that they are inundated with retrofitting for insulation under the existing scheme, and have a backlog of up to 3-5 months in some areas.

    Given that the majority of our redundancies are occurring in the manufacturing sector, the sensible thing to do is get some of those now redundant manual workers, train them up, and get them installing insulation.

    Of course, it’s a simple solution so probably wouldn’t work.

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