Monday, May 13, 2013

Brits are most welcome but what the hell are we doing in NZ about training our own people?!

The Brits are coming. Doesn’t that sound familiar? From the beginning of European settlement of New Zealand this has been so. For a long time the vast majority of NZ’s European population was made up of ex Brits (and Irish). Lately the numbers of arriving Brits have taken a downturn, but in the last few weeks we have been seeing evidence that this downward trend is reversing. This is all due to the sad events of the Christchurch earthquake. Now that the re-build of Christchurch is underway, Immigration New Zealand, along with prospective employers has been holding job exhibitions in the UK. We hear that thousands of Brits are lining up to try their luck in NZ. This is good and NZ can only benefit from this influx of skilled, ‘easy to fit in’ arrivals, but it also throws up some other questions.
What the hell is NZ doing, sitting on its hands and not providing the leadership in training its own people? What is it about our Government that misses the point that we need to spend large amounts of resources in training our own people? We have so many unemployed, sitting around, lacking the skills to take up these opportunities. Surely some of them can be trained. That may entail a change of attitude on the part of some of them about learning good work ethics and perhaps some make-up time to fill the gaps that occur around literacy and numeracy, but start we must.  Let’s get on with re-training and building the skills of NZers.
In the meantime, the Brits are welcome and hopefully, once here they will stay and become new Kiwis. This is not the first time that we have had an influx from the ‘Old Country’ and I dare say it won’t be the last. Let’s have some balance though and encourage our own to up skill and take part in the life of our wonderful country.