Send ’em all down pit, Paula

Let’s hope Gerry Brownlee and Paula Bennett don’t pick up on this policy initiative from Australian Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott:

Mr Abbott proposed banning the dole for young people in a bid to fill the massive skills shortages in the resources sector.

He raised the controversial idea during a two-hour meeting with senior resources industry leaders in Perth on Monday night, The Australian newspaper reported.

He said cutting dole payments to people aged under 30 would take pressure off the welfare system and reduce the need to bring in large numbers of skilled migrants to staff mining projects in Western Australia and Queensland.

It’s gone down like a cup of cold sick with the Australian mining industry:

Minerals Council of Australia chief executive Mitch Hooke said the industry was happy to talk to anyone with good ideas about meeting the skills challenge.

“However, mining is a hi-tech industry often requiring very specialised skills,” Mr Hooke said. “It is not a simple matter of picking someone off the street and sending them over to Western Australia or wherever to work in a mine”.

So it will probably never happen in Australia, but with Gerry’s obsession with mining and Paula’s obsession with beneficiary bashing, who knows what could happen here.

As for the difficulties the Australian mining industry is having getting skilled workers, isn’t the solution obvious? Pay higher wages.

8 Comments Posted

  1. Toad, my point is that we are allowing lots of our young people to stand by and rot while we give their (potential) jobs to foreigners who are prepared to work bad hours at menial rates.

    Why does this happen?

    Because we have policies that allow young people to collect the dole when they should be turning up for work.

    These same young people WOULD have some marketable skills if they were at work every day, instead of at home.

    Nobody should receive the dole unless they turn up for work. They should be available as a cheap workforce for all employers to draw on.

    No show, no money.

    Pretty quickly they would learn the following:

    Turn up every day.
    Be pleasant to other people.
    Learn new skills.
    Follow the examples of others who have kept their jobs long term.
    Do the work that is asked and you will increase your chances of being offered long term employment.

    And as for cancelling training courses – it is highly undesirable.

    However, in a recession it is preferable to save money on such courses, in order to have that money available for health care.

    There is also a huge problem with attendees on such courses spending most of their time standing around shooting the breeze and smoking dope.

    Regent comes to mind.

  2. Toad: Brash senior was a Presbyterian minister.

    Greengeek: a government not very far from here cancelled a training allowance for unemployed people not very recently. Do you see that ex-allowance as being related to giving people a job?

  3. greengeek, you can’t just send someone on the dole in Sydney over to WA and put them to work in a mine. This is not the 1860s any more, and the mining industry needs people with specialised skills.

    Of course it is a waste of potentially productive lives for people to languish on the dole, but this suggestion from Abbot is just plain stupid. Give them the training to enable them to do skilled work, and then pay for their relocation expenses to get them to where that work is, and it would make more sense.

    But there is no immediate incentive for people on the dole to upskill, and the prospect of them being lumbered with a substantial student debt if they do is a strong disincentive.

  4. What is wrong with making people do real work if it is available, rather than giving them free money?

    Sounds like a good idea to me.

    Or do we just have to keep on importing foreigners to do the work while we deny our beneficiaries a working future?

    Do we just have to accept a certain percentage of “unemployable” young people?

    That is a horrible waste of potentially productive lives.

    Get them off the dole, off the dope, and into mining. Once they get a taste of a real income they won’t go back to being happy with the dole.

  5. I guess he was the best of a bad bunch. What an idiotic thing to say. You would have thought he’d have checked it out with his mining mates before putting his rather large foot in his mouth publicly. Not the first time of course.

  6. Yep, Jeremy. I can’t believe the Libs selected Abbott as their leader. It’s really a rerun of the Nats selecting Brash here (although Brash at least wasn’t a Christian fundie).

    I’d say the Lib/Nat Coalition in Oz is likely headed for its worst ever electoral defeat.

  7. Abbott is a real dinosaur, I just can’t see him getting elected, he is just too much of a Christian and Free Market fundie…

    If he does get elected might be a good way to close the gap with Australia, at least population wise..!

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