No.243 5 December 2005 Essential Information on an Essential Issue

of key events over the last few weeks.












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31 October 2005

Scotland's construction sector is struggling to find the skilled workers it needs to build the country's next generation of schools, hospitals, offices and roads. Scotsman.com says active recruitment outside the country has seen been an influx of eastern European and Spanish workers on Scottish construction sites.

4 November 2005

One in 12 people in Australia who have taken a genetic test to see if they are susceptible to cancer or neurodegenerative disease believe they have been discriminated against by employers or insurance companies. The Genetic Discrimination Project is attempting to document the extent of genetic discrimination in employment in Australia.

9 November 2005

The police look likely to recruit up to 800 Maori in a bid to stem high Maori offending. Currently 12% of the police force identify as Maori and Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Long says that proportion needs to be increased to 15% - 20%.

The Australian economy lost 60,800 full-time jobs in October, lifting the unemployment rate to 5.2%.

10 November 2005

The ILO congratulates the Summit of the Americas for making the creation of decent jobs a central policy goal for the region. The 34 Heads of State agreed on a Declaration and Plan of Action to put active policies into place that create decent work. Director-General Juan Somavia: "Until very recently, such a result would have been unthinkable, but now decent work and quality employment have become a priority as they form the basis for fighting poverty and improving governance in those countries."

12 November 2005

Few businesses are likely to have insurance cover for interruption to their operation if a bird flu pandemic hits NZ. The Insurance Council says most insurance policies have an "opt out" clause for such events. The Council predicts that companies who are cashflow dependent would have a lot of trouble if bird flu reaches NZ.

13 November 2005

As the university year concludes, there are 30,000 tertiary students now available for work. Student Job Search national chairperson Andrew Kirten encourages employers who are struggling to fill orders or meet client demands to use their service. Kirten says tertiary students on summer leave tend to be affordable and easily accessible through Student Jobs Search. Employers can place job vacancies by calling any local branch or visiting the website here

Lifting labour productivity is the key to NZ's future economic growth, according to the New Zealand Institute. No country is an island: moving the New Zealand economy forward by taking it to the world, can be downloaded from here

Westpac Bank sends an executive delegation to India to investigate further potential to outsource jobs to that country.

Unemployment is acknowledged as Germany's biggest problem as the country's two largest political parties join together to form a government.

14 November 2005

Farming sector training provider Tectra is offering shearer training and woolhandling courses in Southland. Training co-coordinator Peter Nichol says an aging workforce and staff shortages is hitting the industry hard and the courses are intended to encourage young people into the industry.

Hundreds of thousands of Australian workers rally in vocal but peaceful demonstrations across the country in protest of proposed changed to workplace legislation. The changes proposed by the Howard government include requiring more workers to sign individual contracts, replacing state-based workplace rules with nation-wide rules, scrapping unfair dismissal laws for smaller firms and in many case allowing employers not to recognise a worker's union.

Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company may cut as many as 12,000 jobs over the next five years.

Staff turnover in Australia's mining industry is as high as 60%, according to Mackie Employment Solutions.

Senior UN envoy Anwarul K Chowdhury says no poverty reduction strategy in the Least Development Countries will be successful without the creation of productive employment with special attention to women and young people.

15 November 2005

Finance Minister Michael Cullen rules out intervening in Air NZ's decision to lay-off 600 engineering staff. The government has an 82% stake in the airline.

NZ First Party deputy leader Peter Brown seeks an assurance from government that it will remove "aircraft engineer" from the list of immigration skills shortages if Air NZ goes through with its announced aircraft engineer redundancies.

16 November 2005

NZ may have insufficient natural gas for electricity production by as early as 2010, according to briefing papers from the Ministry of Economic Development. The briefing papers say NZ must find new reserves of natural gas within the next two to three years or it is likely to have to import liquefied natural gas as an alternative.

Super-rich people in NZ make about 25 times the amount of money the average NZers makes.

British workers are being recruited to staff India's vast network of call centres because of a shortage of suitable candidates there. In a reversal of the outsourcing that has seen thousands of jobs lost in Britain, telesales operations are looking to fill a skills gap in the east with young Britons willing to work on Indian wages.

China plans to inoculate its entire stock of 14 billion chickens, ducks and geese in hope of eradicating bird flu. And Vietnam launches a campaign to purge its two largest cities of poultry.

17 November 2005

Wages in NZ rose an average of 3.1% over the last year, according to Statistics NZ.

18 November 2005

Reserve Bank governor Alan Bollard signals that interests rates will continue to rise. He warns that home owners who are spending as much as 50% of their income on their mortgages may struggle to meet their payments in the future.

20 November 2005

About 40% of doctors working in NZ were trained overseas, the highest percentage of any OECD country. The NZ Medical Association says part of the cause for this is that many NZ trained doctors move overseas. The association says working conditions must improve to increase retention of NZ medical graduates.

Christchurch City Council has signalled it is considering investing in telecommunications infrastructure. Mayor Garry Moore says its existing capacity is "pathetic", suggesting that Telecom is not adequately meeting the city's needs.

Pacific Rim leaders end their annual APEC economic summit challenging all World Trade Organisation members to cut agricultural subsidies. The APEC leaders agreed that unblocking disputes over agriculture is the key to progress.

The money earned in rich countries by economic migrants and sent home to support their families in less developed countries amounts to twice the total that rich countries provide in aid. A report by the UK Remittances Working Group says remittances are hugely important for people on low incomes in developing countries and this money plays a major role in promoting international development and fighting poverty. The Remittances Working Group report can be found here.

22 November 2005

NZ's inward migration has declined to 6,000 people over the last year, down from 17,000 the year before. Statistics NZ says slowing of immigration was due to fewer foreign students coming to NZ and an increased number of NZers moving to Australia.

30,000 North American jobs will be lost as General Motors Corporation announces it will close 12 factories and facilities.

23 November 2005

The government is considering extending disability and sickness benefits to people in the workforce. Minister of Social Development and Employment David Benson-Pope says the rationale is that many sick and disabled people have costs that remain constant, whether or not they are working.

24 November 2005

NZ Dairy Foods has cut more than 200 jobs since September.

27 November 2005

Australian carmaker GM Holden plans extensive job cuts. Overproduction and weak demand has forced GM Holden to close a shift at its Elizabeth assembly plant in South Australia with the loss of 1,400 jobs.

28 November 2005

New Delhi child welfare officers liberate 470 boys in a raid on factories employing children. The embroidery workers aged 5 to 14 were employed in workshops, sewing designs on high fashion garments for domestic and export markets. Embarrassed by the presence of child workers, the officials who launched the raid are struggling to decide what to with the boys. Charities questioned whether the boys' best interests were served.

Drug company Merck will cut 7,000 jobs worldwide and close five plants.

29 November 2005

A Youth Transition Service has been launched in Gisborne. It is the first of a "second wave" of Youth Transition Services that are being rolled out around the North Island. in partnership with the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs.

ANZ Bank's decision to outsource some Australian jobs to India causes concern for the bank's NZ workers. Bank workers' union Finsec says that despite no local jobs being lost, it is worried about the potential impact of a global trend of banks outsourcing to India.

The retirement age of judges may be lifted to 70, or even higher, as the government seeks to ease recruitment worries. Ministry papers say the compulsory retirement age of 68 in NZ is low compared with countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia. The papers say the present retirement age can discourage recruitment or limit the contribution of senior law practitioners.

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  • The New Zealand unemployment rate has fallen to 3.4%, a record low in the 19 years since the Household Labour Force Survey began. Figures compiled by the NZ Institute of Economic Research economic indicate that unemployment hasn't been this low since 1982.

    New Zealand now has, by far, the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD with South Korea having the next lowest rate of 4.1%. Unemployment in OECD countries is averaging 6.5%.

    ANZ National Bank chief economist John McDermott calls the result "an absolute monster" and indicates the economic slowdown people have been anticipating has not arrived.

    Minister of Social Development and Employment David Benson-Pope says the figures send a strong message to employers: "If they want to attract and retain good staff there is real value in them improving wage levels, investing in child care and offering employees greater flexibility around work hours."

    The Employers and Manufacturers Association agrees that the employment market is getting tighter and tighter. Chief executive Alasdair Thompson says that improving skill levels in the existing workforce is one way to ease labour shortages, but he also calls for more immigrants to ease the situation. Thompson: "We need to have a well-defined, stable immigration policy that meets employers' needs."

    Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont points out there are still 73,000 New Zealanders unemployed, and even more potential workers — such as mothers who are not counted in the workforce figures. Beaumont says there are "a range of opportunities that need to come into play" before looking at increasing immigration.

    Deutsche Bank senior economist Darren Gibbs believes that a still lower level of unemployment is a possibility. Gibbs: "There's a lot of momentum there, we could push down as low as 3% in the next six months."

  • We include our regular Statistics That Matter summary in this issue of The Jobs Letter. Some highlights:

    — the drop in unemployment is a result of a growth in jobs, with 26,000 more people getting jobs over the quarter

    — underemployment has fallen sharply, with the proportion of part-time workers who would prefer to work more hours at the lowest rate since 1990 (14.5%)

    — most of the new jobs over the last year have been full-time and in the service, construction, wholesale and retail sectors

    — Maori unemployment has risen slightly to 8.9%.

    urbr.jpg - 25591 Bytes

    Household Labour Force Survey, 10 November 2005, published by the Department of Labour can be found here.

    Source — Household Labour Force Survey, 10 November 2005, Commentary; Media release David Benson-Pope, 10 November 2005, "Unemployment lowest since HLFS records began; New Zealand Herald, 11 November 2005, "Jobless rate falls to 23-year low" by Adam Bennett; New Zealand Herald, 11 November 2005, "Most of us have jobs … now for the bad news" by Adrian Bathgate;


  • benson-pope.jpg - 3171 Bytes The new Minister of Social Development and Employment David Benson-Pope has described his briefing document from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) as a "social encyclopaedia". The document provides a broad picture of social development in New Zealand and outlines what the Ministry sees are the priorities and best courses of action for the incoming government.

    The briefing papers accentuate what MSD sees as its success with "active approaches" to helping beneficiaries into work that it believes has contributed to the reduction in the unemployment rate. Active approaches include encouragement, planning and incentives to get people "moving in the right direction" and addressing barriers to employment such as a lack of childcare or health problems. The Ministry maintains that active approaches have proved to be more effective in getting results than simply paying out a benefit.

    MSD also points out that with the lower unemployment level, Work & Income is facing greater challenges in placing beneficiaries into jobs. The briefing: "People receiving benefits are more likely to be difficult to place in employment. Those with low levels of skills, people from a minority ethnic background, young people, mature workers, people with health problems, people with disabilities, sole parents and immigrants face greater barriers to sustainable employment."

    The MSD briefing sees government most important five cross-sectoral priorities are to:

    — improve educational achievement among low socio-economic groups

    — increase opportunities for people to participate in sustainable employment

    — promote healthy eating and healthy activity

    — reduce tobacco use, and alcohol and other drug abuse

    — prevent family violence, and abuse and neglect of children and older persons.

    MSD asks the government to confirm its commitment to this list of priorities as a focus for the broad social sector, or consider other priorities in relation to this list.

  • bradford905.jpg - 28514 Bytes Green Party MP Sue Bradford warns that if the government accepts the direction laid-out by the MSD briefing papers it will be steered off the moderate course that was characterised by former Minister Steve Maharey. Her concerns: the Ministry has recommended that "assessments of functional impairment and employment capacity" of people on sickness and invalid benefits "accords better with the system operated for injury accidents by the Accident Compensation Corporation." Bradford disputes the wisdom of changing to the ACC approach, saying ACC claimants around the country have found their lives have been reduced by a system that focuses on getting them off income-related compensation as soon as possible, rather than seeing they are fully rehabilitated and into the real work they are ready and able to do. Bradford: "I am sure one of the reasons for the rise in invalids and sickness beneficiaries is the push to get people off ACC and into the benefit system. Clearly, this effort is now moving into the next phase."

  • The MSD briefing papers also recommend that "consideration should be given to a part-time work test for sole parents." Bradford points out this is a direct reversal of Labour's current policy, which focuses on helping sole parent beneficiaries to plan for their future without threatening them with a forced return to full-time paid work.

    Benson-Pope says he is unlikely to support the MSD recommendation. But he is considering providing additional payments for people with health or disability issues on benefits who have moved into work. There is a growing number of people on sickness and invalids benefits and Benson-Pope says he is eager to turn this around by offering incentives to get people into work. He says a lot of people who want to move into work are penalised at the moment and he aims to make that transition easier.

    bim05_sm.JPG - 11048 Bytes

    Briefing to the incoming Minister

    14 September 2005,

    published by MSD, 0-478-18328-3 can be downloaded (89pg, 745Kb) from here.

    Source — Media release by David Benson-Pope, 17 November 2005, "Minister welcomes release of "social encyclopaedia""; Fairfax NZ Ltd, 18 November 2005, "Low unemployment make work harder to find for beneficiaries" by NZPA; Otago Daily Times, 30 November 2005, "Let's not return to failed 1990s beneficiary-bashing policies" by Sue Bradford; The Press, 18 November 2005, "No work test for solo mums" by Kim Thomas.


  • The Ministry of Social Development briefing papers also warns that the brain drain is likely to worsen as New Zealand's "smart, healthy and skilled" workers are increasingly snapped up by employers overseas. Increased globalisation and ageing populations across OECD nations mean New Zealand's ability to attract and retain its own skilled people will be a "significant issue" in coming years.

    ASB Bank chief economist Anthony Byett comments that global trends in worker mobility would keep New Zealand's labour market stretched and much more needs to be done to improve the lot of workers in New Zealand. But he says that the comparatively low wages in New Zealand are not likely to rise without increased productivity. This means providing good working environments for people and putting the latest technology in the workplace. Byett also points out that competing in the global labour pool means New Zealand needs to ensure it has good schools and preschool education, good support for babies and good healthcare for families. Byett: "If people believe they're better off raising their children in New Zealand than London, Sydney or Paris, they will accept a lower wage."

    Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce chief Peter Townsend says that wages are key to getting bright young people back home. Townsend argues that employers don't want a low-wage economy, and higher wages depend on increasing productivity. This means that businesses need to make better use of technology, including biotechnology, information technology and production technology. Townsend: "We need to raise our standard of living — which is what you put in your pocket — to match our really high quality of life. We've got everything else on offer, but people want to live in a country where they are well rewarded for what they do."

    Source — The Press, 22 November 2005, "Brain drain `to get worse'" by Joanna Davis and Kim Thomas.


  • susanstjohn_face.jpg - 5307 Bytes Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) says it was misleading for the Governor General Dame Sylvia Cartwright to claim that the extension of the Working for Families package next year "will mean tax relief for every low and middle income family with children in New Zealand". Cartwright made the statement in her speech from the throne as she convened the new Parliament. But CPAG spokesperson Dr Susan St John says the second phase of the Working for Families package offers nothing to New Zealand's 250,000 poorest children.

    St John points out the Working for Families package acknowledges the greater costs faced by parents compared with other taxpayers. But the next phase — the In Work Payment — does nothing to relieve those greater costs for the children whose parents aren't in paid work. St John: "If this generous package is really about supporting children, why exclude the most vulnerable? And if it's really about poverty elimination, as the government wants to claim, why exclude the poorest? In fact, this is about rewarding participation in our tight labour market. But why use children to do it? And why do it at the expense of helping those whose needs are greatest? The latest changes only shunt the poorest kids further to the back of an already long queue, when they urgently need to be first in line."

  • To back up its claim, CPAG is legally challenging the government at the Human Rights Review Tribunal CPAG says the legal issue is that many children won't receive vital support simply because their parents cannot work the number of hours required for eligibility, or are on a benefit. The effect of this is to discriminate against some children because of their parents' situation, over which they have no control. CPAG says the government has refused to enter mediation about the issues and has even disputed the right of public interest groups, such as itself, to bring such a case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal. The case will be the first of its kind under the Human Rights Act. The government is appealing against the Tribunal's decision to hear the case.
    Source — Media release CPAG, 9 November 2005, "Good moves for families heralded but the poorest kids left out"; Media release CPAG "Landmark win in human rights case".

    mtfjlogo-zw.gif - 7098 Bytes


  • The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs has held a national forum in Nelson where Mayors, government agencies and practitioners from community employment projects all around the country came together to discuss the issues and solutions to keeping young people connected to school and work.

    Judge Becroft told the forum that young people are at risk of becoming criminals when they feel excluded from society through factors such as poverty, failure at school and abuse. He points out that school and sporting involvement is very effective at keeping potential offenders out of trouble. Becroft: "Training and employment are particularly important in assisting young people to `re-join' society long-term. Young people who are dealt with by Family Group Conferencing are less likely to re-offend if they find employment or training." Becroft points out that re-engaging young offenders in school — or preparing them for employment —decreases their offending rate by 35%.

    The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs has engaged Professor Shirley, from the Institute of Public Policy, to lead a working group of economists which will inform the Taskforce's own schedule of work and priorities for the future. The working group is examining the "youth job guarantee" with a view to its feasibility in New Zealand; how changed labour market dynamics have resulted in a "skills deficit"; a review of youth transition projects; and a reassessment of regional and national initiatives aimed at promoting employment opportunities and economic participation. Shirley's group will report to the Mayors early in 2006.

  • Mayors who attended the forum included: Frana Cardno (Southland), John Forbes (Opotiki), Mary Bourke (South Taranaki), Bob Harvey (Waitakere), Garry Moore (Christchurch), Maureen Reynolds (Tararua), Paul Matheson (Nelson), Yvonne Sharp (Far North), Alistair Sowman (Marlborough), Bob Buchanan (Rangitikei), Dale Williams (Otorohanga), Gary McPhee (Carterton), Heather Tanguay (Palmerston North), John Hurley (Tasman), John Tregidga (Hauraki), Neil Sinclair (South Waikato), Pamela Peters (Whangarei) and Tracy Hicks (Gore).


  • Germany.gif - 1910 Bytes New Zealand agencies who had stalls at two employment Expos in Germany have signed-up several hundred German workers to come to New Zealand to work. Ross Stanway from the Bay of Plenty economic development agency says the Expos attracted the interest of German workers with the skills needed by employers in his region, including construction workers, factory staff, engineers, accountants and lawyers. Stanway says more than 300 Germans have registered interest in working in the Bay of Plenty.

    Dunedin-based immigration and employment consultant Bob Clark was impressed with the calibre of the people at the German Expos. Clark: "There are just so many highly skilled people unemployed in Germany. Almost all of the people spoke English and most had a very good knowledge of New Zealand." Clark expects recruits to begin arriving before the end of the year. He says that some of them intend to work in their profession when they arrive in Central Otago, but others indicated they would initially pick fruit to see if they liked the area before looking for permanent work.

    Source — Radio New Zealand, 13 November 2005, "German labour attracted to NZ"; Southland Times, 18 November 2005, "German workers to ease labour shortage" by Emma Dawe.


  • The German workers may arrive just in time. Nearly twice the number of seasonal vineyard and orchard workers will be needed to fill jobs in Central Otago this summer because of a huge increase in the number of vineyards in the area. Seasonal Solutions director Basil Goodman says growers will require about 4,000 employees from October to May. Goodman points out that last year only 950 of the workers were locals, and — given the drop in unemployment in New Zealand — it is unlikely any more than that will be available for horticultural work this year. Which leaves more than 3,000 of this summer's jobs needing to be filled by overseas workers. In hope of filling the gap, Seasonal Solutions has been actively promoting New Zealand — and Central Otago in particular — as a working holiday destination to people in the Czech Republic, Germany and Brazil.
    Source — Southland Times, 22 November 2005, "Wanted: 4000 workers" by Sue Fea.


  • apple_crop.jpg - 9507 Bytes Up to 450 migrant workers will be given temporary visas to work in Hawkes Bay apple orchards this season. The workers will be allowed to work for one of two companies that will put up a bond of $3,000 per person as a guarantee the workers return home when their jobs are finished. Hawkes Bay MP Rick Barker says the move will help to ease the pressure on growers who are anticipating labour shortages to be even greater this year than they were last. Barker: "It has been a challenge to assemble every year, for a short period of time, a workforce measuring in the thousands."

    The Hawkes Bay Horticultural Contractors Group doubts the full quota would be filled this first year but says the move is a good one. Manager Warren Templeton: "A lot of Czechs come here each year. They are probably the biggest percentage of migrant workers. They are well respected and sought after. People from Malaysia and Thailand have also been regarded as good workers."

    Minister of Immigration David Cunliffe says companies taking part in the scheme would have to show they couldn't find enough New Zealand workers to fill vacancies. Whether the scheme is carried on in the future will probably depend on the migrants leaving New Zealand and not overstaying the terms of their visas.

    Source — Dominion Post, 19 November 2005, "Migrants let n to pick apples" by Bernard Carpinter.


  • Employers' hiring intentions remain high, although not as high as they were earlier this year. The Hudson Report: Employment Expectations found that 36.6% of employers surveyed expect to hire more staff over the next half year. Those sectors with higher than average hiring expectations were information technology, construction, and property and engineering. Hiring expectations in the government sector is significantly down since the previous survey six months ago. Hudson general manager Peter Harbidge says that perhaps the public sector was tightening after a lot of growth in employment.
    Source — Dominion Post, 12 November 2005 "Employers more cautious on hiring staff", by Marta Steeman; Weekend Herald, 12 November 2005, "Bosses more cautious abut making job offers" NZPA


  • nznow.jpg - 5264 Bytes The New Zealand Now campaign is aimed at encouraging New Zealanders living overseas to return home to live. Department of Labour's marketing director Richard Ninness says the campaign is set against a background of New Zealand's strong employment growth and the increasing international competition for skills. Around half a million New Zealanders live abroad and three-quarter of these say they would consider returning to New Zealand to live. Ninness: "They have the skills New Zealand's employers are crying out for and with unemployment in New Zealand at just 3.4%, this is a great time to remind them that there is no time in recent history that there have been as many opportunities for Kiwis looking to return."

    The $856,000 New Zealand Now campaign has been launched with a huge projection of "NewZealandNow.Info" on the side of Kiwi House in London. The campaign includes a website and a poster campaign in the London Underground.

  • The Christchurch Press argues that the New Zealand Now campaign will have little impact on people's plans to stay or leave the UK. New Zealanders spoken to by the newspaper in England said they were living in England because they earn significantly more money as well as being able to save — in order to pay off student debt or to buy a house — at a rate they were unable to in New Zealand.

    The New Zealand Now website can be found here.

    Source — Media release Department of Labour, 14 November 2005, "Offshore Kiwis enticed home with New Zealand Now"; The Press, 16 November 2005, "Ex-pats reject NZ promotion", by Janine Bennetts.


  • telecomnz.gif - 997 Bytes Telecom is planning to recruit information technology (IT) staff from overseas next year. The company says that up to now it has only "opportunistically" recruited from overseas but chief information officer Mark Ratcliffe says that planned expansion, coupled with a tight labour market, is pushing the company to look further afield for IT staff. Ratcliffe: "Given the sort of insatiable demand from New Zealand businesses and from ourselves internally for strong technical people, I suspect we are going to have to increasingly recruit from overseas while there is still relatively full employment and there is nothing to indicate that is coming to an end."

    Telecom will probably focus its recruiting activities on Britain and South Africa because New Zealand is considered to be attractive to people in both those countries for its lifestyle and safe environment. It is not looking to recruit from Australia because people there already had a good lifestyle and New Zealand's pay rates are significantly lower.

    Ratcliffe says Asian countries could also offer IT workers. He says there are already Asian immigrants in New Zealand with IT skills but their business experience is a little different. Ratcliffe: "So while they might have the technical skills, they have not necessarily applied them in quite such sophisticated marketplaces."

    Source — Dominion Post, 17 November 2005, "Telecom to recruit overseas for IT skills" by Marta Steeman.


  • Several major retail developments in Palmerston North are concerned they will be unable to find staff to work in them. A new Bunnings, extensions at EziBuy and Mitre 10 as well as a proposed big-box mall will all require staff. Exact numbers are not yet known, but estimates are the city will need several hundred more workers. Work and Income adviser Tony Cade says: "I don't know where the staff will come from".

    And another Palmerston North industry — call centres — is screaming out for workers. Sitel, Study Link, Inland Revenue and the Land Transport Safety Authority all have call centre facilities in Palmerston North and could immediately employ another 120 workers between them. Work & Income's Toni Seanoa says calls centres have commonly done their recruiting from the pool of retail workers, but the retail workers just aren't there. Seanoa says smart employers will offer more flexibility in working hours, job-sharing, child-care help, better wages and training to attract and keep staff. Seanoa has noted that employers struggling for staff have become more interested in traditionally difficult-to-place groups — the young, the mature and immigrants.

    Source — Manawatu Standard, 17 November 2005, "Labour shortage has mangers worried" by Lee Matthews.


  • nzpost.jpg - 1821 Bytes New investment in mail sorting technology — and in fewer but larger mail sorting centres — will see New Zealand Post soon beginning to reduce the number of its mail sorting staff. NZ Post handles a billion letters and parcels a year and spokesperson Peter Fenton says that to keep postal service costs down the state owned enterprise is investing $80 million over the next five years in modern sorting technology and facilities. 550 _ 650 of NZ Post's 2,000 mail sorters will eventually be affected by the changes.

    As many as half the mail sorting jobs may go in regional processing centres in Nelson, New Plymouth, Napier, Gisborne, Rotorua, Invercargill, Tauranga, Whangarei and Dargaville. Automated sorting will be transferred to sites in Auckland, Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin as the up-graded facilities come on-line. The first barcoding and sorting machines in the country will be introduced in Wellington in February. Part of the changes will be the introduction of new post codes that people sending mail will be asked to include when addressing mail to be delivered within New Zealand.

    Source — TVNZ One News, 11 November 2005, "NZ Post to cut jobs; Northern Advocate, 17 November 2005, "Mail changes will cost jobs in Whangarei and Dargaville", by Evan Harding.