Amy is the head of news for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Opinion: Work ethic needs to change

12 comments
Employers will hire the best person for the job. Photo/Getty
Employers will hire the best person for the job. Photo/Getty

It seems crazy to me that there are 15,000 Kiwi labourers out of work at a time when the construction industry is booming.

This number comes from figures released by the Labour party which also reveal 6500 work visas were issued in the year to July for people doing the same work.

Labour leader Andrew Little has promised his party would review the work visa system if they were in power but I am not convinced that would achieve much.

It makes sense that we should employ Kiwis over foreigners where we have a choice but employers have complained locals aren't prepared to do the work or do it poorly.

I'm inclined to side with the employers on this one.

If you're employing someone you want the best person for the job and if that person is from overseas, so be it.

Allowing less work visas won't necessarily mean more New Zealanders with jobs, it may instead mean longer waits for the work to be done.

Most employers will not employ someone who does not seem willing to do what they need done or who does a bad job of it. They are more likely to hold out for someone who will work hard and fit in well with the team.

It does seem that many of this generation lack a solid work ethic - growing up in relatively prosperous times seems to have left some with a sense of entitlement.

We need to take a leaf from our grandparents' generation.

Many of them lived through the depression and worked hard just to get by.

They put in long hours doing work that was often very physical - there was no other choice.

We now have the luxury of technology and labour laws which mean we are entitled to holidays and a minimum wage yet there seem to be many who are not willing to put in the work.

It is not unreasonable of employers to expect people to put in a full days work and do a good job of what they are being paid to do.

I don't blame employers for choosing foreigners if they are the best person for the job.

Until we can change attitudes, there is no point changing the work visa system.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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