This story asks the question, “When does the government talk to unemployed youth?” I don’t believe they do talk to them directly. Doesn’t mean they aren’t looking out for them though. Bill English strategy of talking to business leaders to discover why they are not employing unemployed youth makes more sense. He could have discovered that they were lacking in confidence, or had poor resumes, that there was a skill that they were missing all things that the government could have put money into to help youth who were unemployed maybe via providing training course in the areas they lacked the skills. But instead he found the number one reason business owners were not employing youth was failed drug tests. Obviously those he were speaking with were industries that tested for drugs, as most employers don’t test, but this was the feedback he got. Instead of the media putting down the person who is the messenger, why don’t they do their jobs and go and talk to the youth about why they are taking drugs. Do they not want to work? Do they not value being a part of society?
Youth do have a chance to talk to the government. It’s via voting on Election Day. However, this article says the unemployed youth are most likely to not vote on Election Day. That is clearly a choice they are free to make. But let’s be honest, if you don’t vote in election, you are saying you don’t care how the country is run and will just go along with it. Too lazy to vote, then likely too lazy to work. Let’s not tar all youth with the same brush though – I’ve voted in every single election since I was old enough to vote. I know when I was old enough to cast my first vote, or maybe it was my second, I was at Uni and everyone was voting. It was the year the Helen Clark promised interest free student loans. Even though I was a student I was against this as I didn’t feel that it was in the countries best interest long term to be lending out money at no charge (I still feel this way). Students were very divided on this topic. There were those who had been working hard during their studies and had been paying their own way and we hated the idea. Those who had been drinking and partying their way though study knocking up everything to their student loan thought all their Christmases had come at once. It was an issue that was hotly discussed. So a lot of youth are very engaged in politics. I know young people who are in the Young Nats and I know a lot of young people who support Labour as they are always sharing their political message on Facebook, so to say youth in general are disengaged with elections would be wrong. But I do see the connection between those who are unemployed and don’t vote and this to me seems more like their disconnection with society and their disinterest in being involved. I think we need to stop pushing blame to the government. They have equal opportunity to vote, at some point you have to step up and get involved. If you don’t, don’t complain when other people didn’t get up and go and vote to make things go your way.
The reporters words of “Throwing young Kiwis under the bus” really irks me. It makes me angry because that is a lie. We are talking about a segment of unemployed youth. Most youth are either still in education or if they have left school have jobs. This is such an incorrect generalisation as it the first sentence of the article, “”Kicking young people when they are down and out, and by “out” I mean often unhoused is a nasty bullying tactic.” What? Unhoused! So the group of unemployed youths that we are talking about here have no where to live, living in cars, possibly on people’s couches and you wonder why they can’t get jobs. If they are on the streets or in cars they are probably going to interviews smelling from no shower access, bad breath and unclean clothes. Forget the drugs test, the employer would know they are not fit for work the second they walk in the door and this group has to be an incredibly small percentage of youth unemployed. We need to look at their parents. What parent kicks their child out at 18 when they have no place to go, no job and tells them, “You’re 18 now, fend for yourself”. If this is the case then their unemployed status is not a reflection of the government but a reflection of their parents. If they have this attitude clearly they are not going to have given them the best start in life, in particular on making sure they get homework and study for exams in order to be prepared for the workforce when they leave school.
The only situation I would be kicking out my 18 year old child, or even an older child or adult, who was struggling to survive is drugs, alcohol, crime. I believe in personal responsibility and I disagree with supporting this lifestyle choice. I would help them when they say they want help making a change but won’t facilitate this poor choice. So to me this reporter scored an own goal in the first sentence of her inaccurate report, the unemployed youth in this situation are unemployable. They have issues they need to resolve. They have chosen the path they are taking and they can’t blame others for not giving them a job when they are not living up to the expection a of society. The only unemployed person I have been aware of lately is a relative of mine who is in construction.
Construction is booming. Why couldn’t he find work? No driver’s license, lost through drunk driving (multiple charges which started as a youth, now in his 30s), a license is pretty essential in this role. He has a job now and he drives even though it’s illegal. He can get his license back, it’s just $2k to get a breathiliser lock on his car so he doesn’t want to waste his money. He’s been driving illegally for the best part of 10 years now. He has only been caught a couple of times. Got fines he will never pay. He also smokes marijuana. He has been fired from his previous two jobs because he got in disagreements with his employers. He would be unemployable but he is extremely good at what he does. I can understand a youth who might also have the same drug and alcohol record would be passed over as they don’t have the experience that this person has. Incidentally, the last job he got and stayed at for sometime getting experience that he has now, he got through his father. My first job as a checkout chick I got through my mum talking to a lady in the street who worked there and said she would put in a good word for me. That act by my mum not only got me my first job, but because of my job attitude and work ethic my employer was keen to employ my younger brothers when they turned 15 (part time jobs whilst still at school) and even my sister got a job from this act, as one of my old supervisors worked at another nearby supermarket when my sister was old enough to work and made sure my sister’s name got to the top of the list. This basic work experience lead on to all of eventually stepping out and working up into other jobs, my brother even works in the Head Offfice of my original employer. See how much your parents can do to help you get a job. Networking is so important.
I would ask the question, “How many of these unemployed youths do volunteer work?” Volunteer work shows you have the ability to get up everyday and work. It teaches you skills. It gets you a reference. It gets you contacts. You could be doing volunteer work with someone who works somewhere and hears about a job that would suit you – networking. They can help you get that foot in the door, that first interview. These opportunities won’t come to you when you are sitting on the benefit not putting yourself out there. You could volunteer at a company you wish to work for but I’m more meaning places that are always needing volunteers – Youth groups, Scout groups, schools – for fairs, reading assistance, help in the library, their canteen, sausage sizzle days, Citizens Advise Bureau, helping new immigrants with English, SPCA, Youthline, Cancer Society – these kinds of community organizations. Show a potential employer you want to work, you want to be involved in society.
I think she is the low blow blaming migrants. We only bring migrants in to fill roles that we don’t have the people for. They are filling a gap. Migrants benefit society. We have a strict criteria on who we let in and part of that requirement is a language skills level. The migrants that we have that are creating a drain on society are those who arrived on the family reunification visas who don’t speak English and can’t work. Often they are elderly grandparents who never planned to work here – and too be fair, they could be caring for the grandkids so their son and daughter inlaw could be free to save lives at hospital – in an area where we have a desparate need. We can’t blame the migrants who arrived on family reunification visas and can’t speak English for taking our low paid jobs. If they are taking the job of a youth then their must be something wrong with that youth because English is a pretty important part of any job in NZ.
We have to import people to pick fruit from overseas. Anyone can do that but people don’t want too. An easy job for youth as they don’t have kids tied to a school or even a house that they are paying rent on long term, they are most likely at the flating stage, it’s easy for them to move to where the work is. Yes, the wages are low, but they have to meet minimum wage or it is illegal and they have legal avenues to address if they are not paid right. It’s experience to a better job. These seasonal workers do arrive unable to speak English but provision is made for them because NZers won’t do the job. Stop trying to blame others who are filling the gap the unemployed youth are refusing to fill. New Zealand is very close to full employment, so when the reporter says the government is being “inept, out of touch, bloody minded with its immigration policy” she is plain wrong. We are desparate for workers in the trades and in the medical profession, agriculture and if we sent these migrant workers home it would be detrimental to NZ because it would make the skills shortage even worse for the trades and medical profession and as for fruit picking we would just have wasted fruit, it would lower our exports – the unemployable will still not be doing these jobs.
When David Seymour, leader of the Act party, blames the schools for turning out unemployable youth, the reporter seems to agree kids are leaving school unemployable (personally this is not something I have noticed) and has blamed the education minister. Again, we are talking about a small percentage of youths. If it was the educational minster then wouldn’t all youth be coming out unemployable? Pretty sure University enrollments are full, so we are producing people who are reaching Uni standards, I haven’t been reading there is a shortage of students studying, and then there are a pile of kids who go out and get actual jobs straight from school. I’m not seeing any evidence that it is the Educational Ministers fault. The only gap I see in this area is special needs kids. There is not enough funding for kids who have special needs and who, with a little work, could be very productive members of society. I’m talking about kids with dyslexia, ADHD, autism – again, a very small percentage of kids and I have not heard learning difficulties being mentioned by employers as a reason they are not employing people so that doesn’t link in too much with this article – but this is where I believe their is a gap in funding and it could be addressed.
In terms of general youth getting through school without these skills, I would look to the parents. Were they helping their kids do their homework during their school years? Where they getting the kids to school on a regular basis? Did they make sure the kids did their eye and hearing checks to make sure they could see and hear what was going on in class? Where they going to school we’ll feed with a packed lunch? Did they read them bedtime stories? Did they engage with the teachers at parent interviews? Were these kids from violent backgrounds – drugs, crime? There is so much parents can do. When most kids in a class are successful, as a parent surely you discuss with the teacher where things are going wrong with your child? I certainly see my childen’s teachers if I see a problem, not just academically but socially as well – was the child being bullied? Did this cause them to be disengaged at school?
The reporter is claiming the younger generation are being written off. This is a lie. Bill English was speaking about unemployed youth and the feedback he had been given about why they weren’t being employed from businesses owners he believed should be employing them. Most youth are either in work and studying. We have youth in training to be doctors, nurses, construction workers, IT consultants and employed in many professions. The main issue facing our youth today is high house prices but this is as a result of New Zealand’s success. Everyone wants to live here, our economy is booming, Kiwi’s who left discovered the grass wasn’t greener on the other side and came home. We can’t build homes fast enough because we don’t have enough builders – a job an unemployed youth could do if they weren’t on drugs, so they could be part of the solution if they got their lives together.
Ironically the reporter talks about the protests going on overseas. Again, an own goal. She speaks of immigrants taking the youths jobs yet the protests in America are about Trump wanting to send illegal immigrants home and his wall to stop illegal Mexicans coming in and taking Americans jobs. He is doing what she is complains about here. She mentions the Black Lives Matter movement, that was formed after some questionable police shootings where white officers shot at black men – hardly a New Zealand issue, our officers don’t normally carry guns. Guns are only used by police in extreme circumstances and a thorough investigation is done every time a policeman uses his weapon. Police in NZ get put through the mill even if they shot someone who had been on a murderous rampage and the cops life was in danger – I think the reporter had no clue about the Black Lives Matter movement. The Occupy Movement makes more sense but I thing all the crazy political turmoil around the world is what is making stable New Zealand seem like such a fab option.
She has even dismissed the invasiveness of us building more housing, despite the start of the article talking about how there is no where for these youth to live. As well as talking about our intensive dairy industry in a negative way – Fonterra is our biggest earner for our GDP, it creates a lot of jobs, it gives free milk to low deciles schools because, again, so many parents are failing their kids. She talks about our polluted waterways – something I am concerned about too, but pleased that National has said that clearing up our waterways is a priority for them.
Her only evidence that drugs are not a problem for youth getting jobs is she states the numbers as, 91,300 unemployed youth, only 30,000 who sort a drug test (I don’t know how they decide who gets a drug test and who doesn’t) and only 100 failed. The problem is she doesn’t state where these numbers came from. I assume she is talking about the numbers from the tests that are administered in order to get a benefit and if this is the case, then people who use drugs recreationally can just avoid taking that drug before their test date, so it is not a reliable source. In my opinion, those who interact with the youth are the ones who are in the best position because they are the ones interacting and engaging with them, whereas statistics can be manipulated.
Basically this article is a completely untrue. She is taking a statement about a small group of youth unemployed and tarnishing all youth with the same brush, completely misconstruing the PM’s statement. The media should not be misleading the public like this. It is a disgrace articles like this are being published by our mainstream media. Completely dishonest reporting.