Friday, March 12, 2004

Discouraging the unemployed

The GSV Anticipation of a New Lover's Arrival (yes, he is Cultured) talks about his experiences with WINZ - specificly, being sent on a pointless course which will verifiably impede, rather than improve, his chances of getting a job:

This seems to be a reasonable thing to do to the young and the stupid who are still languishing on the benefit after three months - they probably need the help. But straight away? Can the transitionally unemployed be given the benefit of the doubt for four to six weeks? Isn't it a bit of a waste of time to send people who are between seasonal work and looking for the full time thing back to redo their CV yet again?

It is - but the purpose isn't to help people get a job, it's to discourage people from exercising their entitlements. Seen in this light, it all makes perfect sense.

Unfortunately, this attitude from WINZ interferes seriously with delivering assistance to people in need. By way of example, someone I know helped out in Red Cross Manawatu's warehouse, unpacking donations for people who had lost everything in the recent floods. Unfortunately, it's not moving very fast, because in order to get anything you have to talk to WINZ, and people would rather eat their own entrails (without Watties tomato sauce!) before doing that.