September 24, 2020
Smart thinking needed to fix seasonal job gap
Employment Minister Willie Jackson says neither the government nor tribes can drag people out to work, so it’s up to employers to get smarter about building the workforce they need.
Mr Jackson was responding to criticism from Ngāti Kahungunu leader Ngahiwi Tomoana about a lack of suitable training programmes and incentives to get people into jobs, especially in seasonal work like fruit picking.
He says Mr Tomoana knows of the efforts the government has gone to create jobs and infrastructure.
"In terms of orchard owners, I have met with them over the years and said you have got to make things accessible for the workers around Gisborne and Hawkes Bay. They are not going to leave their families for two or three months and then all of a sudden have no job so they've got to provide incentives. They've got to work with whānau. They've got to say 'we might be able to shape a career around here, there might be more work.' Employers have to be continuously creative," Mr Jackson says..
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