Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Every option has costs, every lever pulls on something else

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  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Anyway at some point folks decided to include all sorts of post high school training and learning as tertiary education. Rightly so. All those training/education schemes "add value" to the people who take them and add value to society.

    I suspect that the high water mark for that kind of overhyping of "qualifications" happened decades ago. In an early 90s article attacking the shonkiness of the "Crown Health Enterprises" reforms of the Bolger Government (Metro? Can't find it online), Spiro Zavos gave the example of a hospital manager whose tertiary qualification cited in his CV boiled down to a weekend corporate bonding event held at the Tatum Park boy scout facility on the Kapiti Coast.

    While that emergent class of brave new bureaucrats were initially able to bully nurses when awarding themselves free parking while introducing charges for medical staff, their resolve rapidly crumbled once the doctors got wind of the attempted shafting.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Susan Snowdon,

    And how come chiropractors in NZ now call themselves doctors? Do they have doctorates? Are they medical doctors? Where does this come from?

    Since Mar 2008 • 110 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    [Highly trained hospitality workers] get paid more [overseas]?

    Yes. The basic problem (and one that’s become increasingly more serious over the past decade) is that in NZ, relevant qualifications and skills generally aren’t as highly valued, and don’t translate to as high a wage increase, as in Australia. So we muddle through with the cheapest least-skilled labour force that might, under ideal conditions, allow some basic functions to continue -- in much the same way that we traditionally are supposed to try to hold things together with chewing-gum and No.8 wire, and with much the same long-term prospects for success.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    There's a clear definition of a Bachelors degree here: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/assets/Studying-in-NZ/New-Zealand-Qualification-Framework/requirements-nzqf.pdf

    Are you saying that that's too broad, that it doesn't cover what a degree used to be, that it isn't actually being measured against by NZQA, or that degree holding should be limited to institutions that were universities in 1965 or whenever because tradition?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to linger,

    Yes. The basic problem (and one that’s become increasingly more serious over the past decade) is that in NZ, relevant qualifications and skills generally aren’t as highly valued, and don’t translate to as high a wage increase

    It's really pretty annoying to have a parade of business people trotted out on the news to complain about how their business couldn't survive without the immigrants.

    What's not made crystal clear on the news is those businesses are paying minimum wage and demanding long hours in pretty hard conditions. In short, nobody who isn't desperate wants those jobs at those wages.

    Immigration policies that bring in workers at the bottom of the pile help to keep wages as low as possible.

    This isn't an accident, it's a deliberate policy setting to support businesses that would (and should) fail under a living wage.

    If you can't run a restaurant and pay a living wage then the question is "should you be running a restaurant?", not "how can we get cheaper labour?".

    Sadly that might mean fewer restaurants in Auckland, but the ones that are left will be those run by people with morals.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    What we can say is that
    (i) there's a broader range of qualification labels out there, which makes it harder for students (or employers) to assess the meaning of the qualification or its relevance to requirements of a specific job; and
    (ii) in practice, some institutions that have been assessed as failing multiple NZQA requirements for qualifications are still being allowed to issue those qualifications, as long as they make periodic vague promises that things are being fixed.

    Admittedly, students already in the system function as a human shield for noncompliant institutions. The fairest approach for most students in such cases might be to close down habitually-noncompliant institutions, putting their funds into receivership, and using those funds to transfer existing students into equivalent programmes in NZQA-compliant institutions in similar locations wherever possible -- but that is not without its own attendant drawbacks, and someone is going to end up unfairly disadvantaged.

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1889 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Are you saying that that's too broad, that it doesn't cover what a degree used to be, that it isn't actually being measured against by NZQA, or that degree holding should be limited to institutions that were universities in 1965 or whenever because tradition?

    No, all I'm saying is that our acceptance of what constitutes a tertiary education has changed. Almost certainly for the better.

    But immigration still operates the same way it did in 1965 and assumes any tertiary education is good enough to qualify for a student visa.

    That's the disconnect. What used to be a slam dunk obvious gain for NZ eg overseas student gets degree stays in NZ and become useful citizen - is not so simple now because tertiary education has changed.

    If you were cynical you might suggest that some tertiary institutions exist solely to create a fee-paying path to citizenship. That probably isn't what was intended.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    While that emergent class of brave new bureaucrats were initially able to bully nurses when awarding themselves free parking while introducing charges for medical staff, their resolve rapidly crumbled once the doctors got wind of the attempted shafting.

    Watching the Trumpcare debacle unfold in the States, the Crown Health Enterprise experiment was a shameful attempt by Alan Gibbs & his ilk to import such a model to NZ. I recall my mother telling me not to mention the fact that my father was appointed CFO of one of them at the time.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Matthew Hooton,

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5418 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    This isn't an accident, it's a deliberate policy setting to support businesses that would (and should) fail under a living wage.

    If you can't run a restaurant and pay a living wage then the question is "should you be running a restaurant?", not "how can we get cheaper labour?".

    Verily. Those who can afford to dine out can bloody well pay the price, rather than it landing on the shoulders of low-paid workers.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • martinb, in reply to Kumara Republic,

    Oh, this is well known in studies in NZ and the US and elsewhere. And that there is no real downside for a conservative politician to piss all over poor people.

    They both knew what they were saying when they said it. It's how English can say things like that on the one hand and be this great compassionate conservative championing the data approach on the other gets me. Such a free pass.

    Auckland • Since Jul 2010 • 203 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Sacha,

    Verily. Those who can afford to dine out can bloody well pay the price, rather than it landing on the shoulders of low-paid workers.

    Just to reiterate there are a whole bunch of restaurant owners who make a point of paying decent wages with reasonable conditions. And yes it costs a bit more to eat there - money well spent I think.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

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