Jobs come, go, come

01/08/2017

The failure of a business, like A&G Price and subsequent loss of jobs is difficult for everyone involved.

However, an appeal by Waikato Engineering Careers Association for work for the staff facing unemployment resulted in 40 job offers in 40 minutes. 

Not all are in Thames which means those taking up the offers will have to move or commute and that’s not good for the town but Work and Income are working on that too:

A task force was set up in response to the situation, community liaison adviser Joe Waterhouse said.

“The first thing we did was contact the local radio station to get information out to the workers. Two support sessions were held on Friday, with 32 workers attending the early morning one, which is fantastic, as some people are reluctant to approach Work and Income,” he said.

The sessions are to let people know what financial help and jobs are available. Workers who do not make contact with Work and Income will be approached privately so no one misses out.

The task force is led by work services manager Catherine Henderson and acting service centre manager Peter Davies, Waterhouse said.

“They are coordinating current vacancies and scrutinising jobs coming in. At 1.15pm on Friday, 23 jobs were emailed to Thames Coromandel District Council. Our community is experienced with big layoffs and closures of factories employing many workers.

“There is no shortage of jobs and we believe our help will mainly be to transition them back into the workforce.”

In most parts of New Zealand there is no shortage of jobs which is a very good reflection on the state of the economy.

The closure of a business like this that employs a large number of people or the establishment or expansion of a business involving big numbers of employees always makes headlines. Small numbers of job losses and gains don’t usually.

But jobs come, some go and others come all the time.

Increased mechanisation and technical advances which make work easier and faster can lead to job losses at particular work places and in particular industries.

But increased mechanisation and technical advances also create new jobs.

Think of the jobs that have become easier, those that have disappeared and those that have been created in the last 100 years.

The advent of the car meant far less work for farriers and saddle makers but it created jobs for the people who build, sell and service vehicles and all the bits and pieces from which they’re made.

Computers have come a long way, made a lot of jobs redundant and created many more.

Some fear that as they continue to advance they will replace a lot more jobs. But is it just wishful thinking to believe that something with the wit to equal or surpass the human brain would also have the wit to create new jobs?


Could WINZ have done more?

03/03/2015

WorkSafe NZ is prosecuting the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) over the shooting of two WINZ staff in its Ashburton office.

The mother of a woman killed in Ashburton’s Work and Income shooting is disappointed her daughter’s employer has been charged over the incident, saying “nobody could foresee what was going to happen that day”.

WorkSafe NZ today laid a charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) after the shooting on September 1 last year.

Russell John Tully, 48, was charged with the murders of Peg Noble and Susan Leigh Cleveland, and seriously wounding Lindy Curtis, at their Cass St office.

Another staff member, Kim Adams, was shot at as she ran out the back door.

WorkSafe NZ alleges the MSD failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work.

The charge, under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act, was laid in the Wellington District Court.

Cleveland’s mother, Kath Cleveland, said she was disappointed WorkSafe felt a charge was warranted as the shooting could not have been predicted. . .

“The only thing I can say is these WorkSafe people might see something in it that us everyday people don’t see. I don’t know if it is going to help or not,” she said.

Cleveland said her daughter never complained about feeling unsafe at work. . .

The court case will have to make the reason for the prosecution clear.

However, without any knowledge of what has motivated WorkSafe’s decision to prosecute and on the facts made public so far I am unpleasantly surprised by this decision which  will be concerning to all employers.

I have vague memories of a freezing company being prosecuted when an employee was injured as a result of a fight in its car park.

I can’t recall the details but do remember at the time wondering how it could have been the employers’ fault and that was my immediate reaction to the news of this prosecution.

Could WINZ have done more to protect its staff? That is now up to the court to determine.


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