Every election we hear about promises to get the economy moving again. New Zealanders hear the parties talking about how they will how get people off welfare and into jobs or training that can potentially lead to jobs. Both major parties are guilty of over promising and under delivering, which is something they know well, but admitting so would be to admit their last stint in office was a failure.
We need more people in the trades. Of that there is no doubt – drain layers and plumbers, electricians and carpenters. Without them, New Zealand cannot have the quality homes they need and the assurance that the basic services in the house that they hope to grow old in . I do not think that there will ever be an over supply of trades people in New Zealand without completely choking academia and telling academics to retrain. Perhaps the biggest problem is the chequered records of many with a run in with the cops here, a bit of drug dealing there – and maybe a bit of a side habit to boot – seemingly unaware or ignorant of the curtailment effect this may have on future plans to travel
New Zealand also needs academic researchers at universities. Contrary to the ill informed view for example that Labour leader Jacinda Ardern has never held a real job down and is called “just an academic”, is to ignore the fact that she used to work in the office of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
With potential for developing hemp based building materials, I think a whole industry potentially awaits for companies wanting to revolutionize their products and not just think about concrete and steel. I am not sure what the Building Code says about hemp products, but if there is no provision made for it, then – assuming a certified testing regime could be developed – perhaps the Building Code is in need of an overhaul.
Another example where I think New Zealanders could significantly improve job opportunities is through investigating the use of waste material as potential fuel sources. Biofuel is one that particularly fascinates me. It follows from research done sometime ago where a south Canterbury couple with a fish and chip shop were able to develop a blend of biofuel suitable for their vehicle. They used the waste oil and cooking fat from their deep frying unit. Given New Zealanders propensity for fish and chips and so forth on some nights, the economics of a nation wide – or at least an our bigger cities – biofuel programme might be worth investigating.
Doing the research into all of this and certifying the results will create desk based jobs of various sorts – data entry, administrator, project manager, accountant – as the reporting requirements develop in complexity.
It is not just scientists and tradespeople that New Zealand needs though. Police, doctors, teachers and care givers all have hugely important roles to play. I have dealt with these in other articles at some point or another.
But there is one group that New Zealanders say that they care much for, yet employers and individuals seem hugely judgemental towards. That is the disabled, unwell and intellectually impaired. Yes they might not cope with a full time job, but many of them are able to do lesser jobs.
I therefore propose that:
- Funding for the sciences increase from 1% of G.D.P. to 2%
- Narrow funding to a few main streams, such as renewables development and medicine
- Have a touring science expo go to every high school in New Zealand as a joint project between the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment
- A job programme for disabled and unwell people, such as mowing the lawns and weeding gardens and do administrative tasks.
- A rate of financial compensation for special needs jobs would need to be negotiated and it should supplement their social welfare support rather than be a part of it
- Remove the discriminatory wages that were introduced by National for those in training