Thursday, February 02, 2017

Being a statistic

Twice this year the stats I frequently blog about have become personal.

First I had to make a call to CYF. I guess it will be logged as a report of concern. They were helpful.

Second, while the overall unemployment rate grew  by 0.3 percentage points between December 2015 and December 2016, a significant unemployment rise affected 15-24 year-olds: 10.9% in December 2015 to 13.6% in December 2016. Sitting in the group is my 22 year-old BA son.

It's not easy watching your kids (they are always kids to me) applying and applying and not even getting interviews. He's hardworking, self-disciplined, punctual, good-humoured, a reader and a thinker. And of course I would say all that. I am his mother. But I flinch when people stereotype his generation as lazy, unrealistic, illiterate and ill-prepared for the workforce.

No doubt, as Mr Micawber faithfully avowed, "Something will turn up."


15 comments:

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Lindsay

I trust something will turn up for your son, he sounds like he would be an asset to any employer. I suggest that he doesn't wait for advertisements to appear on Seek, or in the papers, but that he pro-actively call (that is phone) employers in the industry segment of his choice, and ask the MD (or whoever is the boss) if he can personally meet him to drop off his CV.

Barry said...

I hope something good turns up for your son.

Anonymous said...

Of course you flinch. Because you know and can see the truth. Your son is not a nameless statistic, he is your son. But the beneficiaries you target are nameless statistics to you. If you knew them, and their stories, you would not be so harsh.Just as some students are an embarrassment, so are some beneficiaries. Now, I am certain that if your son had to go on job seekers, you would not disparage him.

Brendan McNeill said...

@anonymous 11:24

While Lindsay has provided a valuable and constructive critique of our welfare system over the years, I don’t recall her disparaging beneficiaries or job seekers. Only those who post anonymously qualify as ‘nameless statistics’.

Mark Wahlberg said...

My friends daughter, home from university for the holidays, asked the local council for a job over the break pulling weeds out of the in need community gardens. Human Resources Manager said she would need a horticultural degree and be conversant with public works health and safety policy.

She went possum trapping instead and made more than minimum wage pulling weeds of a different sort.

Anonymous said...

what's the BA in?

perhaps your son should consider Stephen Joyce's conversion masters to Computer Science...

Jamie said...

There is only one thing in this life worse than work,
And that's not having work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rXLmt6i-hBY

AnotherFan said...

How deliciously ironic. Maybe this will open your eyes to what beneficiaries are going through.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

I know what beneficiaries go through having worked voluntarily with beneficiary families for five years. Look, if it suits your purposes to characterise me as a 'beneficiary basher', so be it. But the goal of welfare reform, which I have long-advocated, is to dissuade people from ever getting caught in the system in the first place. Others, who cannot avoid it, should be treated with respect and compassion. And that is my personal approach. What you imagine makes no difference.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Well said Lindsay.More power to you.

Jamie said...

I see a bright future ahead for your boy bagging groceries

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2795408/amazon-planning-to-open-robotic-supermarket-staffed-by-just-two-humans-sources-claim/

More mass immigration anyone?

Anonymous said...

Lindsay - Brendan is correct, both my children (quite a bit younger so only part time) were sent off to "bang on doors" as I figured it was really the only way to differentiate themselves. Both got jobs (not necessarily what they wanted), and both have been asked to work full time as soon as they are able.

It's not perfect, but it is income, they're earning something, and learning a lot about the workplace. Really, CV's are very difficult to make any decision on as an employer, a well-presented, well spoken actively making the effort person will always win some kudos. In my daughters case she still had to apply on line, but there was already a face and meeting to go with the name.

Lindsay Mitchell said...

Thanks. He has done that in the past and got holiday retail work as a result. So he isn't averse -just uncertain as to what he actually wants to do after a number of doors to chosen careers have closed.

Brendan McNeill said...

Hi Lindsay

I'm conscious that thousands of people read your blog every week. Your son may wish to consider posting a brief 'employment wanted' advertisement on your blog outlining his preferred option and a brief description of his academic qualifications, and contact details. Many of your readers will have useful networks of relationships and one or more may be able to open a door, at least for interviews. I accept of course that he or you may have reasons for not wanting to do that, but it is worth considering.

Mark Wahlberg said...

Lindsay, some local flavour from the Manawatu Standard.

Another story tells of gangs of youths as young as 13 roaming the streets assaulting and harassing many who cross their path.

Don't know what it means other than I'm glad I'm retired and don't take my love to town.


http://www.stuff.co.nz/manawatu-standard/news/89286275/calls-for-actions-as-youth-unemployment-rate-increases