The will to work

Few if any employers will be surprised that bosses can’t find workers in spite of the number of unemployed people.

Frustrated bosses say they can’t find suitable workers for even the most basic of labouring jobs despite the high unemployment rate, as they deal with people who turn up drunk if they come to work at all. . .

It’s not just that people are unskilled. People who are willing to work are almost always willing to learn and can be trained.

The problem is attitude rather than aptitude;  some people just don’t have the will to work – it’s not that they can’t but that they won’t.

This is a very good reason for ensuring there is a reasonable gap between what people get on a benefit and what they can earn from work.

It is also a good reason to continue with benefit reforms which send a very strong message that welfare is a safety net for those in real need not a hammock for those who can’t be bothered.

19 Responses to The will to work

  1. Deborah says:

    The alternative explanation is that bosses are not prepared to pay sufficiently high wages to attract the type of workers they want.

  2. Andrei says:

    This is what is called anecdotal evidence Deborah, the so called “right” playing the class war game and telling tales to reinforce how degraded and worthless the peasantry are.

    What these repellant types don’t get is that they are supposed to provide inspiration and leadership to those less advantaged than themselves but being a sad and sorry bunch themselves fail dismally in this and feel entitled to exploit the poor, whining when the poor don’t go along with their own personal agendas and touch their forelocks when encountering them

  3. Gravedodger says:

    that is why I regard the unemployment benefit as a “dont want to work reward system”

  4. homepaddock says:

    Deborah – there are bad bosses and it is their fault they have difficulty recruiting and retaining staff. But a lot of good ones, which include those who take home a pittance themselves because they put their businesses and employees first, also have trouble with people who don’t want to work.

    Andrei – I’m not sure if your tongue is in your cheek. If not I am bemused by what appears to be a feudal view of the world. Forelock tugging is even older than last century. We not only work with our staff we socialise with them too and this class-bound system you describe is both foreign and offensive.

  5. Andrei says:

    No Ele; that article is offensive, it describes people as the “dregs”

    Guess what – nobody is entitled to a complaint work force available to pick their apples when they need them picked, the days of serfdom are over theoretically anyway.

    Look at this

    “We do pre-emptive drug tests and that puts a lot of people off . . . There is work out there if people are prepared to do it.”

    How dare they – nobody is ever going to tell me to pee into a cup as part of my employement, that is the modern equivalent of forelock tugging.

  6. TraceyS says:

    How dare they? How dare employers NOT do drug and alcohol testing in this day and age! In some industries it would be daring indeed to forgo this kind of testing. If we did not do it, we would lose our largest client and that would cost jobs. If the client was not tough on these requirements, it may cost LIVES. Even the boss gets to pee in a cup.

    I’ve just set up an internet connection, the final step in setting up a new office for one of our staff. It’s the Monday of a long weekend, I have three young kids with me. My daughter just came in and exclaimed “Mum, this desk is fancier than yours!”. Young toff in the making you’d suppose… ?

    Small business owners in NZ know serfdom alright.

  7. homepaddock says:

    Andrei – employers are responsible for any accidents in the workplace unless they’ve taken all reasonable means to prevent them. If a drugged employee hurt him/herself or someone else the employer could be held responsible which is why drug testing is used more often now.

    Another reason is it is very difficult to dismiss people for being incompetent and failing a drug test can provide just cause for dismissal.

  8. Denny says:

    This article is anectdotal, so I’ll respond with a few anectodes of my own … My 24 year old nephew is well presented, polite, industrious, has level 2 maths and English, and has finally found part time work as a forecourt attendant at a Wellington Z. He applied for at least a hundred, yes at least a hundred, jobs, had a few interviews but mostly didn’t even get to that stage because of the numerous other applicants. And yes, his CV read well.
    The woman who cleans for me comes from an agency that provides personal care. She has approximately ten hours work a week. She has a diploma in business, and an advanced diploma in tourism. She is hard working, willing to do anything, is well presented, articulate and in two years has not even had an interview for any office or administrative job for which she is well qualified and experienced. The agency has no more work to offer.
    A woman who did my personal cares while I was immobile is desperate for more hours from her agency. She supports her daughter and two grandchildren and cannot cope financially with less than twenty three hours of work a week. Her agency tries to give her as much as possible but the work isn’t there.
    Our neighbour is a web designer, supposedly work in high demand. He has twenty years of experience, but has spent the last two years unable to get work.
    A young man I know works in a factory where more than half the workforce has been laid off because the owner is tearing his hair out trying to get orders. More will be laid off. None have found other work.
    I could carry on with similar cases that I know of. The article is poorly researched, gives no data and is sensationalised “journalism”.

  9. Andrei says:

    Another reason is it is very difficult to dismiss people for being incompetent….

    Yep, our Labour laws have a lot to answer for and this business of making it hard to get rid of somebody who doesn’t work out has a lot to answer for, its bad for everybody, it make employers reticent to hire and to take risks in hiring while giving employees cover for all sorts of nonsense.

    But if you want the best out of people you have to believe in them and slagging people off for being unemployed as lazy, drug addled yadda yadda yadda – not good.

    People in this country are suffering and not everybody has the good fortune to secure a list seat in Parliament, which for most of them is equivalent winning the lottery for all they are worth,

  10. TraceyS says:

    It’s not difficult, but just takes time, skills, and knowledge beyond what most small employers have readily available. Things should never have progressed to that point. Small employers cannot be experts in everything. The pressure to be such is crippling.

  11. homepaddock says:

    Being unable to find work for which you are well qualified is soul destroying.

    So too is being a good employer with jobs available yet not finding anyone willing and able to fill them.

    These situations aren’t mutually exclusive.

  12. Deborah says:

    But surely there is a market clearing rate for labour, and for jobs. The employer will be able to find someone to do the work, if she or he is prepared to pay a sufficiently high wage to attract someone. If they are not prepared to pay a sufficiently high wage to attract good workers, then it’s not clear that they have any grounds for complaint.

  13. homepaddock says:

    Some employers exploit staff for which there is no excuse.

    But some employees have an inflated sense of their value and expect to be paid more than their contribution to a business justifies.

  14. TraceyS says:

    Exactly Deborah and that is when truck drivers end up getting paid more than teachers. If we don’t address the supply side then all sorts of distortions creep into the labour market. Part of addressing the supply side is making sure entry level roles are accessible and that those who are likely to fill these roles are work ready. For some positions there are not enough people being developed and that is frustrating.

  15. Deborah says:

    In that case the employer is welcome to go to the market and try to find someone who is prepared to work at the wages that the employer is prepared to pay.

  16. Andrei says:

    Exactly Deborah and that is when truck drivers end up getting paid more than teachers. If we don’t address the supply side then all sorts of distortions creep into the labour market.

    Maybe truck drivers are worth more to the country than school teachers, they certainly work a lot more hours.

    Who is the “we” that is going to address the supply side? Central planners in the Wellingtonian bureacracy? Like that will work – NOT.

    The best people to raise kids with good work ethic are the parents of said kids, this has worked for millenia as kids learn the skills they need to survive and prosper in this wicked world from their mamas and pappas.

    But of course the ivory tower types in Wellington, loath this and will undermine parental authority and mana every chance they get in order to overlay their insanities over the parents ones

    Did you know these looneys actually going to create a fiction called “same sex marriage” and have kids raied by two unrelated adults of the same gender?

    And how anyone can trust people so divorced from reality to centrally plan the supply side is a true mystery.

  17. Denny says:

    These people are applying for ANY jobs, not just those for which they are qualified. They will work for minimum wage. They will do anything. There are more good, hardworking people than there are jobs. This article in which employers state they can’t find willing and able to fill them is bs. It’s perpetuating a myth.

  18. homepaddock says:

    I too know good people who struggle to find work. I also know good employers who struggle to find staff, it isn’t a myth.

    What it might be is that the job seekers are in one place and the jobs in another.

  19. TraceyS says:

    One thing that could be encouraged is employers being more involved in providing direction for the education and development of young people. As you are aware, some parents are doing a stellar job of instilling good work ethics, but a lot are not. This is not purely the fault of the State.

    The people with good work ethics to pass on are not necessarily parents of the individuals in question, but people who are doing well in a small business they have started from scratch. Small businesses are where most people work in this country and there should be more incentives for them to take on and develop employees, especially young people. Many small businesses play very important social roles for which they appear to receive littleor no recognition in NZ. For me, some of my earlier employers were part parent, part boss, part teacher/mentor.

    That way we might not end up with too many graphic designers and too few engineers etc, which is exactly what is going on at the moment because of a disconnect between developmental opportunities and work opportunities.

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