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    Essential Information on an Essential Issue

    Letter No.40

    10 June, 1996

    Budget bits and Budget Voices


    The national network of local employment co-ordination groups is starting to gear up with the government approving $1.3m in the Budget towards the costs of "improving local agency co-ordination". Many NZ Employment Service project managers and Community Employment Group Community Advisers are being asked to apply for part-time secondment to the programme, in order to act as local points of contact and to get the local groups started.

    The Local Employment Co-ordinators will be asked to devote four days per month in running their local groups, and will be managed for the Dept of Labour by Brenda Radford, working from Auckland. Radford, the former Careers Service Northern regional Manager, says she hopes to have at least 30 local employment co-ordination groups up and running by the end of the year.

    Once formed, the groups will be the focus for employment action at the local level. They will be required to draw up an employment profile of their local area followed by a strategic plan identifying local employment opportunities. This strategy follows the recommendations of last year's Employment Taskforce report which recommended the establishment of these groups in areas where they had not already been set up.

  • The make-up of the groups will vary in each local area, and be probably about 10-15 people. They will primarily comprise the managers or senior staff of a wide range of government agencies, including NZES, CEG, the NZISS, and ETSA. Other relevant agencies will include Te Puni Kokiri, Pacific Islands Affairs, Internal Affairs, ACC, Workbridge and in some areas DOC and the Ministry of Agriculture. Local Councils, Employers and Manufacturers Associations, Federated Farmers, Iwi runanga, urban Maori Authorities, Enterprise Agencies, and ITOs will also be considered in the group membership.

    Local co-ordination groups have already been formed in Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson, Lower Hutt, Porirua, Wanganui, Hamilton, Wairoa and Manukau City. Other areas identified for early establishment include: Invercargill, Oamaru, Timaru, Greymouth, Blenheim, Nelson, Central Wellington, Levin, Masterton, Palmerston North, Napier, Hawera, New Plymouth, Gisborne, Tauranga, Rotorua, Hamilton, Papakura/Franklin, Central Auckland, North Shore, Waitakere/Rodney, Whangarei, Kaikohe and Kaitaia.

    Contacts: Brenda Radford ph/fax 09 416 4067 or 025 529 583. Wellington contact at Dept of Labour Simone Ferigo ph 04 495 4330 fax 04 495 4330

    Source - phonecall from Brenda Radford to the Jobs Letter 7 June 1996, anonymous faxes from Dept deep throat, from Dept of Labour material.

    With NZ First soaring in the polls ... what are their Employment Policies? Winston Peters told the Otago Daily Times that his party will fund a range of community education, training and employment programmes aimed at the long-term unemployed and at-risk communities. The long-term unemployed could work within their communities, developing community assets that all could share. Peters: "NZ First sees the spending as a way of preventing `negative social spending' later on..."

    NZ First has a policy of switching a person off the unemployment benefit after six months, and placing them on further education, training and community work. Estimated cost : $80-$90m per year. Peters: "One must remember that NZ First has already indicated that they do not support the second round of tax cuts, believing that there are social priorities for that funding."

    Source - Otago Daily Times 20 May 1996 "Job Policy could cost $90m a year" by Dene Mackenzie

    The glossy launch of the government's `green' package late last month failed to mention the dropping of the Tourism Green employment project which was allocated $5 million this financial year for building tracks and other visitor projects.

    Conservation Minister Marshall said, after the launch, that the job scheme used `surplus money' and was not guaranteed each year. He told Warren Gamble of the New Zealand Herald that the $10 million-a-year increase in direct departmental funding was far better. He said that permanent departmental staff we "five times better" than job scheme employees "... who needed expensive supervision on short-term programmes."

    Source - New Zealand Herald 21 May 1996 "Conservation upgrade boost of $10m a year" by Warren Gamble.

    Teaching shortage continues. A Ministry of Education report predicts that schools will need 880 more teachers by the start of next year than they predict will be available. Shortfalls predicted for 1998 are for a further 970 teachers, 1140 more in 1999 and 970 in 2000. The report also showed that there were 820 vacant teaching positions in March this year, but all but nine had been filled by relievers.
    Source - Otago Daily Times 20 May 1996 "Extra 880 teachers needed next year"

  • Teaching relievers are also beginning to be in short supply. A survey of 1300 schools by the Principals' Federation shows that 87% were having difficulty getting day-to-day relievers, and 30% were experiencing extreme difficulty.
    Source - New Zealand Herald 18 May 1996 "Schools struggling to find relievers" by Shenagh Gleeson

    Kiwi nurses are being offered attractive employment packages to lure them to the United Kingdom to work. They are being offered free flights and accommodation if they will work in the critically under-staffed British hospital system. The UK is asking for 400 kiwi nurses and a further 700 nurses from Australia. They are being offered a fast-track through the UK work registration systems, a job guaranteed for 20 weeks, free return airfares and accommodation arranged and paid for where possible.

    According to the Sunday Star-Times, it costs about $40,000 to train a nurse here in NZ, and there is a shortage of experienced nurses at some Auckland hospitals. David Wills, Nurses society national director, says that the British recruits will be mostly those with just 1-2 years experience, and there is a surplus of nurses qualifying each year. He says that nurses were now an `international commodity' and " ... if health authorities want them to stay here then they have to offer the nurses better conditions and pay."

    Source - Sunday Star-Times 26 May 1996 "Attractive package lures Kiwi nurses to UK jobs" by Edward Rooney

    Meanwhile, a London recruiting firm plans to bring NZers in Britain back from their OE to help meet NZs demand for finance and accounting staff. Robert Walters Associates, which specialises in placing finance and banking staff in contract work in London, has opened an office in Wellington. NZ'ers made up 64% of the staff on the company's London books, and the company expects to find local jobs for 20-30 people from London each month.
    Source - The Dominion 29 May 1996 "London recruiting firm wants to draw kiwis back to NZ"

    Community-based courses for drivers who do not have licences are helping put many unemployed Northlanders into jobs. Six courses have been held in Northland's rural areas since last September, and dozens of those attending have subsequently found work. Course participants are required to be an unlicensed driver, unemployed, and over 19 years of age. The Northland Road Safety Forum has found that, in some rural areas, up to 90% of the people driving did not have licences.

    Forum co-ordinator Bill Rossiter wants to promote the concept of the courses to the NZ Employment Service because of the profound effect his courses have had on long-term unemployed people. Rossitter: "In Northland, where the communities are far flung and transport is a problem, I am convinced a drivers licence course like this should be a component of every work training scheme.

    Source - New Zealand Herald 27 May 1995 "Driving course produces jobs" by Malcolm Pullman.

    More than $1 billion is owed to the Crown through the student loan scheme, according to figures released by the University Student's Association. In five years the student debt will exceed $4.6 billion, and by 2014, it will reach about $20 billion, and be more than the national debt.
    Source - Sunday Star-Times 19 May 1996 "$4.6b in student debt by 2001" by Steve Attwood

    Massey University chancellor and High Court judge Hugh Williams told a graduation ceremony last week that if the student loans continue as they are, then they pose a future problem for NZers "... similar to that of trying to provide for an aging population."

    Source - The Dominion 29 May 1995 "Judge speaks out on student debt levels"

  • Voice :
    "My own hunch is that probably in common with the citizens of other Western countries, NZers accept that socialism doesn't work in the economy, but remain wedded to the welfare state, and a Fabian notion of `fairness'..."
    --Reserve Bank governor Don Brash, from a speech to the Institute of Economic Affairs, London, June 1996

    Victoria University, in conjunction with the Careers Service, has just embarked on a pilot project aimed at putting careers information on the Internet. The pilot project is featuring forestry, and is being developed in consultation with the Forestry Industry Training Council. The forestry field was chosen because it covers a diverse range of occupations including transport, biology, financial planning, and logging. This site plans to lead you to general information about forestry jobs, including qualifications and the training needed, statistics on numbers of jobs, salary trends, and other general industry information. Much of the detailed information is provided through internet links to the specific training providers described.
    Internet Bookmark
    NZ Careers Online a demonstration internet site

    Send your internet bookmarks to

    Correction: In our special issue on the `Tax Cuts and Social Policy Bill' (Jobsletter No. 38) our stats layout on page 3 of the "Average Weekly Gains from the Tax Cuts Package" had the second and fourth quintile lines and figures in the wrong order. Thank you Ruth Smithies for spotting this.

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