A good initiative

August 9th, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Olivia Carville at The Press reports:

Two Christchurch construction companies are hiring beneficiaries for the city’s rebuild.

Fletcher Building and Hawkins Construction have embedded Work and Income staff members to help recruit unemployed youth for jobs in the rebuild.

The two companies have assisted 86 unemployed Cantabrians into work.

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett visited a Hawkins Construction site today and met four workers who had been employed through the Work and Income scheme and a Maori trade training scheme.

One of the workers, apprentice Jesse Neville, 19, said he had been trying to secure a job for four years.

He had been on a benefit for 12 months before Work and Income gave him the chance to get an apprenticeship with Hawkins Construction.

Although life was “easier being on the dole, it’s less boring working”, he said.

When he was on a benefit he would usually wake up at noon and play Xbox for the afternoon, but now he was “way more motivated”.

Neville had applied for about 30 jobs to no avail and said that if the apprenticeship opportunity had not been offered to him, he would still be on the benefit.

That’s a very cool story. We need more of those.

Another worker had been employed at Hawkins Construction through He Toki ki te Rika, a collaborative Maori trade training scheme with Ngai Tahu, the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology and Hawkins.

Patrick Kohu, 51, decided he needed to “make a change” in his life after he was released from prison, and he had chosen to get involved with the programme.

“It offers a sense of belonging and purpose, I suppose. It’s about rebuilding my past,” he said.

And that is even better.

I will point out the 90 day probation period makes it less of a risk for employers to take on staff with a chequered background.

9 Responses to “A good initiative”

  1. ross69 (3,651 comments) says:

    These workers may have left school without any qualifications. Under this government they’d be labelled failures and the teachers would be blamed. It is indeed good to see that there is life after school, and that formal qualifications aren’t everything.

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  2. Grendel (1,064 comments) says:

    you think leaving school without a qualification is a success?

    shit when i left school mid 7th form no one told me i had succeeded, it was quite clear i had failed (there were reasons but the truth was still that i had failed).

    that did not make me a failure, just that i had failed. it also had nothing to do with the teachers, sure i had a couple of utter crap ones in the bunch, that just showed that i failed at the subjects with good teachers less.

    there is nothing wrong with failing, you just try again until you succeed, or become a left politician and redefine the meaning of fail. a failure is someone who decides that failing and not trying again is ok, and that everyone else is responsible for sorting it out for them (which sounds a lot like you ross).

    who said qualifications were everything anyway? your straw man is worse than usual and you really are a dour cunt at the best of times.

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  3. ross69 (3,651 comments) says:


    There is more to life than simply going to school. Some kids leave school without qualifications and that will always be the case. But the story that DPF linked to shows that qualifications aren’t necessarily the be-all and end-all. Apprenticeships are important.

    Who said qualifications were everything? Hekia Parata did, among other Ministers.

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  4. ross69 (3,651 comments) says:

    “Currently four out of five students leave school with a qualification that will allow them to move to the next step. But we are an aspirational Government and we want all students to acquire the skills needed to navigate modern society.” Hmmm so the skills acquired through apprenticeships don’t really count?


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  5. Colville (3,126 comments) says:

    You need some pretty decent quals when you leave school to get an apprenticeship these days…

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  6. bringbackdemocracy (466 comments) says:

    Wipty-Do 26 beneficiaries find jobs rebuilding Christchurch. In the meantime 100 Chinese Labourers are signed up to work in Christchurch, 1000 Philipenos are milking cows in Southland and thousands of Pacific Islanders are picking apples in Hawkes Bay.
    There is lots of work to be done in New Zealand and we continue to pay people to sit on their backsides doing nothing.
    We cannot afford as a nation to have 300,000 working age New Zealanders being paid to do nothing.

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  7. duggledog (2,363 comments) says:

    Grendel: ‘or become a left politician and redefine the meaning of fail’

    Brilliant, that’s basically it in a nutshell.

    When the (high profile) Educator I listened to at an anti National Standards meeting told us that it destroyed kids if they were labelled as Failures or Losers I had to ask him if we would be discontinuing cross-country at our local school. He thought this was churlish and wouldn’t respond

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  8. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    I agree with bringbackdemocracy.
    There are tens of thousands of ***bludging pricks*** in this country, on the dole and the DPB. Get these scumbags out there doing the work that the Filipinos and Fijians are doing. There are HUNDREDS if not thousands of jobs out there – it’s just that these lazy pricks can’t be arsed doing them, and WINZ can’t be arsed stopping their benefits. Lazy pricks on both sides, in other words.

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  9. Mike Readman (369 comments) says:

    It’s fucked! Why would employers believe so much in a government qualification? They think the government’s amazing at educating people? What the fuck?!

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