Published on July 2nd, 2012 | by john.weir2
Want a job in New Zealand ? Try hairdressing and panel beating..
New Zealand still has acute skill shortages and will need step up its overseas recruitment.
New Zealand gained 1500 more skilled workers than it lost last year, but acute shortages still exist in some trades.
Some deficits are an aftershock of the Christchurch quakes, others due to the brain drain. But some bosses at hair salons and panel beaters say young people’s lack of focus and a dysfunctional training system are as much to blame. Panel beating and hairdressing found common ground in a Department of Labour document outlining where it believes there are skill shortages coming, and obtained by the NZ Herald on Sunday. The projected skill shortages are likely to impact immigration policy.
At Parnell salon Raymond Salon de Coiffure, owner Raymond Henderson agreed with a suggestion hairdressers be added to the list of skilled shortages. He said finding staff was a struggle.
“Apprenticeships are not in vogue. There is a shortage of qualified people. There are lots of people going into the industry, but they’re not actually completing [training].” His employee, hairdresser Catherine Lee, 23, said less than a third who studied with her still worked in the industry. “A lot of people think that hairdressing is going to be easy.”
Jules Shoosh at Shoosh Hairdressers in Grey Lynn said an outmoded, costly qualification system demanded trainees learn styles few customers wanted any more, like perms.
“I have to train them how I want them to be. But I also have to give them skills to be able to pass their national certificate – which is cap highlights. I mean, what sort of barbaric, antiquated method is cap highlights?” Cap highlighting is done by pulling strands of hair through a plastic cap for dyeing or bleaching.
Shoosh said training schools needed new entry tests to stop unsuitable kids taking on costly courses.But Shoosh, Henderson and Lee all said opening doors to skilled migrants would make little difference, because local techniques were needed to work in salons here.At CRS Panel and Paint in Newmarket, managing director George Ervine said his trade was struggling to find young recruits.
“It’s a reasonably dirty industry and [employees] don’t like getting dirty.”
He said it could take five years or more to become a good New Zealand panel beater, but young people often lacked patience.At the CRS workshop, 30 year-old Phil Addy has been in the trade half his life. He also said there was little new blood in the trade. “I have noticed a shortage of young people, even people my age.”The Department of Labour sent the draft list to industry groups in the past fortnight, seeking feedback by July 20.
The document suggests drainlayers, fibrous plasterers, metal fabricators and crane, hoist or lift operators be added to the list of immediate or current shortages.More professions will likely be added to the long-term list. These include numerous engineering and mechanical trades and truck drivers. Most projected skills shortages are in jobs for the Christchurch rebuild.
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