In today's DomPost he writes that unemployed young kiwis should be forced to "work for the dole"
(the headline on-line is different) given the enormous need for labour in Christchurch.
The latest stats show 67,000 Kiwis aged 15-24 aren't in any form of education, training – or work. Some are no doubt getting really good at video games, funded by the taxpayer, but the reality is they're rotting away and learning nothing. We could fit them all into Westpac Stadium – twice over (the Hurricanes and the Phoenix could use that support).
We need to get these young Kiwis off their backsides and into apprenticeships. I'm not suggesting that every beneficiary currently claiming the dole doesn't want to work – but we all know there are plenty who'll do anything to not get a job.
Only 26,887 - or 40 percent - are on the dole but that number is still unnecessarily high.
There are even 1,621 in the Canterbury region. The government has put some effort into getting the unemployed into work locally but that scheme only involved up to 100 unemployed, and not specifically 18-24 year-olds either.
I imagine the problem is skills are required now and apprenticeships actually divert qualified tradesmen away from the job at hand as they teach the apprentice.
But I agree with Garner. There is a golden opportunity going begging.
In a more general sense I have said the same about opportunities the ageing population will present in terms of the jobs their needs will create. More residential carers, in-home carers, various health workers, home maintenance providers, etc. While the government funds much of this, it makes total sense to be diverting dole money into training for these roles. How hard can it be?
The answer must be "very". It's easier to import able and willing workers and hope their productivity and taxes will support the unemployable.