Wanted Students with naked job ambition

By Brendan Manning


An Elvis impersonator, an Oompa-Loompa and Gangnam Style dancers were among 50,784 positions listed by Student Job Search (SJS) this year - but they were far from the strangest listings.

Wairarapa students coming home for the holidays can try their hand at pea farming or Census collecting this summer but other jobs have required more unusual skill sets.

SJS chief executive Paul Kennedy said some of the quirkier jobs advertised during the service's 30-year history had included flash mobsters, fake paparazzi, goat milkers and nudist camp cleaners.

"You name it, we get it."

And yes, the nudist camp cleaners were required to be naked too.

Job seekers had even been required to do "red carpet work" at Wellington Airport for VIP business clients.

"We've had 30-odd students in there dressed as paparazzi with cameras and everything else.

"They've rolled out a red carpet just to make a big hoo-ha for these customers coming in."

However, not all job offers were accepted.

The service drew the line when student welfare could be put at risk.

Cigarette testers and student-strippers for hen's and stag nights were among jobs which had been turned down.

There are currently five listings for Wairarapa students coming home for the holidays, ranging from a Census collector, to a truck and forklift driver, to a pea farmer's assistant.

Paying $20 an hour and offering 24 hours' work a week for the next three months, the pea farmer is "looking for someone who can extract as many peas as possible out of combine harvesters between harvesting different pea varieties".

"I am looking for a student who has farm experience and or agriculture experience, who is physically fit, comfortable in strong heat, does not suffer from hayfever or skin irritations, can follow safety protocol, does not mind working by themselves, can be on call when needed, and ideally is mechanically minded," the pea farmer said.

"As well as the above, to apply you must have a car or ute that has a towbar on it."

Nationally, the number of job listings had risen dramatically in the past year, Mr Kennedy said.

About 195,000 students were registered to the job matching database and 20,000 accessed the website weekly.

"Students are popular with employers because they bring vibrancy and aren't afraid to roll their sleeves up and get stuck in.

"Employers know they're getting someone who's keen, flexible and good value for money."

SJS is a registered charity owned by student associations and receives most of its funding through the Ministry of Social Development. Mr Kennedy said students earned on average $15 an hour, although there were regional variations.

"We have many ICT roles paying $30 plus an hour, accountancy roles paying $20 per hour and simple labouring roles paying $13.75 per hour."

New Zealand's minimum wage is currently $13.50 an hour.

While the company originally started with labouring and trades-based jobs, they are now the minority.

Employers were increasingly looking for workers with key skills and experience and students were more focused on jobs which could get them work experience - in order to gain full-time employment once graduated, Mr Kennedy said.

However, "many students still rely on being able to get that $100 job for the weekend and pay a bill or feed themselves, or just go to that concert or socialise".

Aaron Knowles from the Yummy Fruit Company said he had been hiring students for the past few fruit seasons because of their natural enthusiasm and energy.

"We need staff to run fruit-sampling stations at supermarkets and students are perfect for the job."APNZ

- WAIRARAPA TIMES-AGE

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