John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty

Media release Tuesday 21 October 2014


“John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford.

“Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete for paid work are commonplace in America.

“They might sound new and sexy in today’s Speech from the Throne but will do nothing to create jobs for the hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who need decent work at decent wages, now.

“If the government is concerned about reducing skills shortages, it would make far more sense to put resources into training and education here, instead of constantly reducing access to tertiary education – and staging job fairs in Brisbane and Sydney.

“In the most recent Household Labour Force Survey there were over 236,000 jobless people in New Zealand.

“This October job losses have been announced at Donaghys, Heinz-Wattie, Tasman Insulation, Wellpack and State Insurance – and that’s just so far.

“Job fairs might serve as a kind of glorified schools career day, but nothing will change for those who do not enough hours of paid work, or no paid work at all.

The welfare measures in National’s plan won’t help either.

Extending full income management for some people up to age 19 through non-State providers is part of the ever encroaching privatisation of welfare.

No jobs will be created by this extension of the government’s patronising, disempowering approach towards young adults who should be taking charge of their lives, not having the last vestiges of control removed from them.

John Key has come a long way since his Jobs Summit two terms of Parliament ago.  He is not even pretending to talk about job creation.

Instead we’re to have the superficial and meaningless fix of John’s Job Fairs, and the endless rollout of the Bennett/Rebstock vision for welfare.