Return to Jobsletter Home

To the last Jobs Letter

To the next Jobs Letter

Download Acrobat file

To this Letters Diary

To this Letters Features

To the Index







    Essential Information on an Essential Issue

    Letter No.125

    2 June, 2000

    Peter Drucker, America's leading corporate management guru, on the future of online adult education

    The HOT JOBS in 2025 — Time Magazine's predicitons on the future of work

    With "business confidence" the talk of the country (see Diary), the need to address skills shortages in the economy is becoming one of the key concerns of the government.

    Example: Forestry. This industry generates $2.3 billion in export earnings and directly employs 23,000 people. But, while maturing forests mean that this sector is poised to grow considerably over the next decade ... industry sources report that growth in this sector will be hampered by the lack of skilled workers available to log the trees.

    Speaking to a meeting at the Forestry Industries Training and Education Council last week, Employment Minister Steve Maharey noted that forests are being locked up until enough skilled workers are available to maintain them. Maharey: "It would be a tragedy if this potential was nipped in the bud because we are not giving people the chance to be part of the skilled workforce..."

    But Maharey also says that the situation in the forestry sector is typical of many skilled industries in New Zealand.

  • What is the government going to do about the skills shortages? Maharey points to the recent announcements on the new Modern Apprenticeships Programme, which will increase the numbers involved in on-the-job training. He has also announced that additional funds will be made available to meet the costs of increased demand for training run through Industry Training Organisations (ITOs).

    Maharey also says that he will be making it a requirement of the Winz Regional Commissioners to work with local industry to identify and plug the skills gaps in the local economy. This requirement will be written into the new purchase agreements with the Department of Work and Income.

    Source -Steve Maharey speaking to Forestry Industries Training and Education Council, from "Government to address skills shortages" Press Release Steve Maharey 25 May 2000

    Earlier in the month, Steve Maharey and Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton met with representatives of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs to discuss how local and central government can achieve a better partnership in addressing employment issues.

    The Mayors at the meeting included Garry Moore (Christchurch), Frana Cardno (Southland), Jenny Brash (Porirua), John Chaffey (Hurunui), Sukhi Turner (Dunedin), Graeme Ramsey (Kaipara), Tim Shadbolt (Invercargill), and Derek Fox (Wairoa).

    The Mayors report that there was "complete commitment" from the Ministers to the objectives of the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs. The Ministers acknowledged the need for strong local leadership as a way of strengthening regional communities ... and said that central government is committed to working collaboratively with the local government sector, probably with joint ventures.

    Specific points arising from the meeting included:
    — there will be a requirement for all government Chief Executives, and their departments, to consult with local communities.
    — there is a review planned of all money currently spent on industry development, with the aim of ensuring investment is being put in the right places.
    — all government employment and economic development initiatives will look at closing the gaps with regard to Maori disadvantage, and also be focussed on turning around rural decline.
    — the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs could be involved in providing a "compact" with the economic development and employment sector similar to the "compact" with the voluntary sector, which is due to be announced shortly.
    — there was agreement on the importance of a national debate on the future of work. The Department of Labour reported to the meeting that they will be working on these issues within the Labour Market Policy Group (LMPG).

  • The Mayors have also asked the government to consider supporting a programme of public works to create local jobs. Christchurch Mayor Garry Moore says that while economic growth will be fundamental for the jobs of the future ... it will not deliver the jobs that we need immediately. Moore: "There will have to be a public projects element put in place ... which will probably be local government projects."

    Moore describes such public works projects as "appropriate intervention", and says they can be achieved without displacing existing jobs.

    Sources - Minutes of meeting between Mayors Taskforce for Jobs and Ministers of Employment and Economic Development, Wellington 5 May 2000; The Christchurch Press 19 May 2000 "Govt aid sought for public works scheme for jobless" by Glen Scanlon

    One model for how government will work in partnership with the regions is starting to take shape on the East Coast - and it will be the first visible test of the new "jobs machine" promised by Jim Anderton.

    Wairoa Mayor Derek Fox and Gisborne Mayor John Clarke have challenged the government to start implementing its development ideas in their region. They have set up the Tairawhiti Development Taskforce which brings together central and local government leaders, local Maori runanga, and representatives from the private sector ... all with the aim of providing leadership and direction to the economic and social development of the East Coast.

    Economic Development Minister Jim Anderton has agreed to chair the Taskforce for six months - to give a sign of good faith in this venture, and also to help develop a model for collaboration that may also work in other regions.

    Anderton: "This taskforce will ensure that all government agencies work together and develop local solutions for local problems. This "whole-of-government" approach is a new way of dealing with the issues of social, environmental and economic development..."

    The Tairawhiti Taskforce is establishing action teams to focus on creating job opportunities, building life skills, addressing acute housing conditions, seizing opportunities in land and resource-based industries, and developing an electronic communications plan. It will have an executive and offices on the East Coast.

  • Anderton is being joined on the Taskforce by the Associate Minister of Maori Affairs Parekura Horomia, and East Coast MP Janet Mackey. Horomia told a hui at Te Poho o Rawiri Marae earlier this month that the government will especially listen to the concerns, ideas and solutions suggested by Maori groups in the region.

    Horomia: "This government is serious about going forward and working together, but we don't have all the answers, and solutions need to be found in partnership with the community. I've listened to governments come into this area and make promises before. This time its about true partnership and this coalition government is committed to making sure that happens."

    Sources - Press Releases 18 May 2000 "First meeting of Tairawhiti Development Taskforce" - Jim Anderton, 19 May 2000 "Tairawhiti Development Taskforce launched" -Jim Anderton; "Maori initiatives key to Tairawhiti development"- Parekura Horomia.

    The total cost for all the legal advice provided by the Crown Law Office to Winz CEO Christine Rankin in relation to the Hunn Report (see last issue of The Jobs Letter) was $25,679.25, according to figures released last week by Act MP Dr Muriel Newman. Newman comments: "This figure is a worrying reminder of the ongoing costs that taxpayers face while the government and Christine Rankin try to ignore their untenable working relationship ..."
    Source - Press Release Act NZ 26 May 2000 "Cost of Rankin's legal advice for Hunn report - Muriel Newman"

    Caring for household members (- from the Time Use Survey, conducted in 1999 by Statistics NZ). New Zealanders aged 12 and over spend an average of 31 minutes per person per day doing caring work for other household members as a primary activity. This caring includes physical care, teaching and playing with household members, but does not include housework or household shopping.

    Mothers spend more time caring for other household members than fathers, particularly when the children being cared for are aged 4 years and under. The group that spends the most time in caring, however, is Maori women, who spend an average 58 minutes a day caring as a primary activity, and 8.7 hours caring as a simultaneous activity (eg child-minding while studying). By contrast non-Maori women spend a corresponding 42 minutes and 5.7 hours respectively.

    Compared to the time spent caring for children, caring for adults as a primary activity is relatively low -a per person average of 3.5 minutes a day.

    Those on the community wage and the domestic purposes benefit (DPB) spend more time caring for household members as a primary activity, than people who receive no government benefits. DPB recipients spend an average of 2.0 hours a day providing care for household members as a primary activity and a further 17.2 hours as a simultaneous activity. DPB recipients also spend more time providing unpaid care for non-household members - 15 minutes a day compared with people who receive no benefits who spend 6 minutes.

    Source - Time Use Survey: Welfare and Health, from statistics NZ

    Conference One. The Future of Work and Income Conference - Palmerston North Council Chambers 22 September 2000 8:30am-4:30pm. This conference is a follow-up from the successful Employment Summit held in March 1999. It will be co-chaired by Minister of Employment Steve Maharey and Palmerston North Mayor Jill White.

    From the conference flyer: "For about the last two decades, real average wages have fallen for most people. The young people of today are the first generation to be worse off than their parents. Careers as we knew them are a thing of the past. Probably half the workforce are in part-time or non-permanent jobs with many people wanting but unable to get more paid work. Unemployment and underemployment is probably 2.5 times the official rate, with Maori and Pacific Island rates at least double the average, yet the economy continues to grow. There appears to be a down-skilling in many sectors and the new jobs tend to be insecure and low paid. Will jobs meet the income needs of the majority in the future? What are the options, both nationally and locally? What are the issues? How do we deal with them?"

    For further information contact Dennis Morgan 06-356-8199 or Ian Ritchie 06-328-9618 or write to The Future of Work and Income Conference, Palmerston North City Council, Private Bag 11-034, Palmerston North.

  • Conference Two. The Sustainable Work Conference - Wellington 27-29 October 2000, organised by the Workers Educational Association (WEA).

    This conference will start with Ministers Steve Maharey and Tariana Turia discussing the question: Does the focus on economic growth create an uncivil society and widen the gaps? The rest of the weekend will involve presentations and workshops around the theme of "working for a sustainable world where everyone's contribution to society is recognised and valued..."

    For further information contact Katherine Peet C/- WEA P.O.Box 12-013 Wellington 04-473-6623

  • Conference Three. The Ninth Conference on Labour Employment and Work -Victoria University of Wellington 23-24 November 2000. These conferences have been held since 1984, with the aim of offering academic researchers an opportunity to meet and discuss their work. Papers to this conference are invited from any university discipline, Crown Research Institute, or other public or private organisation or individual undertaking research into labour, employment or work issues in NZ.

    For more information, contact Philip Morrison, Victoria University, P.O.Box 600 Wellington, or visit their website at

    To the Top
    Top of Page
    This Letter's Main Page
    Stats | Subscribe | Index |
    The Jobs Letter Home Page | The Website Home Page
    The Jobs Research Trust -- a not-for-profit Charitable Trust
    constituted in 1994
    We publish The Jobs Letter