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The Jobs Letter
Essential Information on an Essential Issue
• The tourism industry
estimates that more than 31,000 new full-time
workers will be needed in the industry in the next seven years. Anindustry report says that the sector already employs more than
100,000 workers but with tourist numbers forecast to grow
about 2.3 million this year to more than 3 million by 2010, the industry
will need to attract many more workers from an already tight labour
market. Tourism Industry Association chief executive Fiona Luhrs:
“The report indicates that the recruitment, development and retention
of staff must now become a priority for the industry. Tourism-related
jobs are often treated as part-time or temporary positions but that willhave to change if the industry is to attract the skilled staff it needs.”
• The largest increases
expected are in the accommodation, food and
beverage sectors, particularly housekeeping and restaurant serviceworkers, bartenders, restaurant and tavern managers, and chefs.
Employment in the tourism transport sector is projected to be thesource of nearly one-third of the new tourism-related jobs. Most ofthese will be related to air transport but more coach drivers, travel
consultants and transport administrator numbers will also be needed.
Aviation, Tourism and Travel Training Organisation chief executive
Gayle Sheridan says the report shows there are strong career path
opportunities for people entering the industry.
• The government is revamping its migrant scheme to try to boost
after the current scheme delivered only about
half the targeted number of migrants. The Skilled Migrant category,
announced in December, had been touted as a way to move from the
passive acceptance of residency applications to actively recruiting
people with the skills the New Zealand economy needs. But despite
dropping the number of points required from the initial 195 to 100 in
February, the number of skilled people migrating to New Zealand still
lags far behind expectations. In the three months to September,
applications in the skills categories were approved for 3,055 migrants
— well short of the number needed to reach the 20,000 annual target,
although officials say the pace of approvals will probably pick up.
in a bid to keep the airline solvent.
• Minister of Immigration
Paul Swain says changes
that will take
effect from December 1 will include: increasing the number of points
allocated to those with qualifications and work experience; expanding
the definition of skilled employment; allowing permanent residency
to be approved upfront; and recognising a broader range of qualifications.
For those who are using their previous work experience to gain points
towards qualifying for immigration, there is a list of 29 countries
which are considered as being in a “comparable labour market”, for
which the work experience will be counted.
The new skills areas
that will attract points include over a hundred
trades, including crane operators, toolmakers, fitters & turners,
hairdressers, bakers and chefs, boat builders, horticulturalists,
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plumbers, turf managers, qualified agricultural workers, televisionand electronics technicians, and building & construction tradespeople.
Interestingly, the Department of Labour’s current list of 57 “priorityoccupations” for immigration includes only two of the traditional
“trades” — electricians and automotive mechanics. Twenty-five of
the priority occupations are highly skilled medical workers and 25
require people to hold a Bachelors of Computer Science degrees.
• The controversial English-language test
for new migrants may also
be changed. One of the greatest causes of the drop in the number of
applicants for residency from Asia has been an English-language test
set at the basic minimum for a first-year university student. Paul
Swain says the English test is under review and while no decision
has been made, an announcement is due soon.
— the Amendments to the Skilled Migrant Category, including the list of trades
skills that qualify for skilled immigration points, can be found at:
• The discarded Social Entrepreneur scheme
has now been resurrected
as the Community Initiatives Fund (CIF) through a new agency in the
Ministry of Social Development. CIF plans to provide support for
“outstanding community leaders” to work on innovative social
development projects, particularly in relation to families. Projects
will range from one to three years, starting in February 2005, and will
cover costs up to $75,000 a year. Up to 16 projects will be supported
in the first year and then up to 12 per year thereafter. The fund will
be $1.05 million for the 2004/2005 financial year, and then reduce
to $800,000 per year. Successful applicants will have to prove their
projects have wide community support, involve community groups or
businesses and can demonstrate how they will contribute to the
Ministry of Social Development’s targeted “Outcome for Families and
Whanau and Communities, Hapu and Iwi”.
One major difference from the previous scheme is that each project will
require support from a sponsor
— a significant, legally constituted
community-based organisation — which will take responsibility for
monitoring. Funds will not be handed directly to the community leader
but to the sponsor who will “act as a pay agent” for their fees and expenses.
The community leaders will be required to report monthly to their sponsor
who will forward the reports to government.
• Family and Community Services
was only established on July 1, 2004. Its
role is to “lead government and non-government organisations to work
collaboratively to strengthen family support services and make them more
effective for families.” The agency has a national office in Wellington andregional offices in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington and Christchurch. Theagency will apparently not be providing field staff to the CommunityInitiatives Fund and will rely on field officers in local government, theMinistry of Social Development, Te Puni Kokiri and the Ministry of PacificIsland Affairs.
— Details for the Community Initiatives Funds and Family and Community
• The latest workINSIGHT
features Department of Labour research into the
history of Maori employment
and what pathways Maori are now taking
through education, training and work. The report looks at what areas
Maori are making progress in and what challenges remain, emphasizing
The Jobs Letter
that the participation of Maori in highly skilled work needs to continue toincrease and is a priority not only for Maori but for all New Zealanders.
The broad conclusion the magazine gives is that things are improving for
. Maori education and employment has increased at all levels, but
the growth has been by far the greatest in highly skilled occupations —
managers and professionals. This growth was more than three times that of
the growth in highly skilled non-Maori. Maori unemployment has declined
from a peak of 26% in 1992 to what is 8.3% this quarter. Since 1992 Maori
employment has risen by almost 80,000, or 72%. This represents one in
—workINSIGHT Fifth Edition,
November 2004, published by the Department ofLabour, can be downloaded at
• Cuts to the Domestic Purposes Benefit (DPB) to force sole parents
increase their efforts to find work
are called for in an OECD report, Babies
Author William Adema has reviewed New Zealand’s policies
supporting parents in their choices of work and child care options and
believes the financial incentives for New Zealand sole parents on the DPB
“remain weak”. Half of all sole parents in New Zealand are jobless and
Adema says this is high by international comparison. Adema: “One way to
strengthen financial incentives to get a job would be to lower basic
is. It’s slave labour and I think it’s
payment rates while increasing employment-conditional payments.”
Adema says the government’s new Working for Families package would
help low- and middle-income families with children, and increase
incentives to work. But he says it does little to lower the tax rates facing the
second earner in a couple family. A stronger childcare subsidy programme
— linking hours worked with financial support for parents — could
The report also urges workplaces to provide flexible work
including part-time employment, to help parents stay in the workforce and
balance the requirements of the job with their children’s day-to-day needs.
• ACT deputy leader Muriel Newman comments that the OECD report is an
indictment of New Zealand’s welfare policy. She says more sole parents
should be required to work. Newman: “53,860 of the sole parents on the
DPB actually have school-aged children. With a little support, these sole
parents would be able to return to the workforce.”
can’t retain staff. Stokes: “We can’t
But the Minister of Social Development Steve Maharey says the government
has already moved to ensure there is a difference between what people get
on a benefit and what they earn from working. He says the Working for
Families package provides people who move into work with financial
support for childcare and will entitle people to an “in work” payment which
will guarantee a shift from a benefit to work resulting in more money in the
coming out of 21 training providers.
• Green MP Sue Bradford is horrified that the focus of the OECD report is on
getting mothers back into the paid workforce rather than giving them theoption of staying at home to care for their children. Bradford: “Solo parentsare struggling as it is. Cut the DPB and both they and their children willsink deeper into poverty. It’s the kind of disgraceful solution that industrialrevolution factory owners might have thought up to fill their workbenches.
There is no evidence that solo parents lack the will to find work.”In an editorial, The Dominion Post
says the OECD report identifies NewZealand as a compassionate society and that it would be a tragedy if thatcompassion were abandoned. The editiorial: “Instead of a stick, the
The Jobs Letter
Government should be offering a carrot. It is desirable for social as wellas economic reasons that children grow up in an environment wherework, not welfare, is the source of income. To achieve that, the Governmentmay end up spending more on support, such as subsidised childcare
and a more generous abatement regime. That would be money well
• High costs
are stopping many New Zealanders from seeing a doctor
when they are sick, according to an international survey on primary
wouldn’t and that he didn’t inform the
healthcare performance. New Zealanders also skip medical tests and
don’t get prescriptions filled because of the cost. The survey of adults in
the United States, Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and New
Zealand, undertaken by the Commonwealth Fund, found the expense
of visiting the doctor and getting follow-up treatment prevented one in
three New Zealanders from accessing the healthcare they needed —
Twenty-eight percent of New Zealanders reported having a medical
problem but not visiting a doctor
, 11% reported not filling a prescription
or skipping doses, and 20% skipped a test, treatment, or follow-up.
Overall, 34% of New Zealanders reported going without care because of
the cost. When surveying only those on low incomes, the figures jumpedto 44% of people not seeking treatment when they needed it.
— An overview of Primary Care and Health System Performance: Adults’
Experiences in Five Countries
, 28 October 2004, published by the
• More New Zealand workers work more than 50 hours
per week than do
workers in most other countries included in an International LabourOrganisation (ILO) survey. The ILO study of working hours in NewZealand, Australia, Japan, the United States and the European Unionfound that only in Japan did more workers work more than 50 hours perweek. 21.3% of the New Zealand workforce works more than 50 hours
per week, with Australian and US workers just behind. In contrast, in
the EU average is less than 10%. The overall pattern, the study concludes,
is that countries with few regulations regarding working time tend to
have a much higher incidence of people working excessive hours than
• On the other side of the equation, the ILO
report found that, as part-time
work becomes increasingly prevalent, many workers are having difficulty
getting enough working hours
. It argues there are substantial gaps
between the hours people are working and the number of hours they
need or would prefer to work. The report: “There are groups of workers
with excessively long hours who would prefer to work less, and at the
same time there is a sizeable group of workers whose hours of work are
significantly shorter than they would prefer.”
available in our internet edition at
— Working Time and Worker’s Preferences in Industrialized Countries Finding
, to be available from 28 December 2004, by Jon Messenger,published by Routledge, ISBN: 0415701082, can be ordered (256pg) at
ISSN No.1172-6695 Produced by the Jobs Research Trust, a not-for-profit charitable trust constituted in 1994.
To develop and distribute information that will help our communities create more jobs and reduce unemployment and poverty in New Zealand.
The Jobs Research Trust is funded by sustaining grants and donations. Yes, you can help.
The Jobs Letter
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