Posts tagged: employment

Hawkins Construction

Out of all the other negative rubbish that appeared in the New Zealand Herald last Saturday this story from Simon Collins stood out.

Hawkins Construction has started an employment initiative for troubled youth on the North Shore of Auckland. They have hired 12 offenders, and in doing so have cut crime in the area by a staggering 90%.

Two Hawkins employees, Mark Katterns and Rob Hodgkinnson, initially approached an after-school programme to offer rugby coaching. The enterprising coordinator, Dude TuiSamoa, thought their mentoring skills could be better used in providing employment prospects.

Two great things from this example:

  1. Hawkins Construction was willing to take on these youngsters, at some risk
  2. These kids are off the street and doing good honest work

Hawkins Construction has the size, and probably a wide range of tasks within it’s organisation to offer these offenders a choice. And it probably has an infrastructure that allows these boys to become immersed in worthwhile tasks.

These boys are working nearly a twelve hour day – personally collected from their homes at 6.15am (in some cases dragged from their beds) and delivered back at 6.30pm. That’s a long day, but probably helps to break the cycle of crime and boredom.

There’s great value in this approach, free from government and local government direction – for the offenders, for the community and for Hawkins Construction. It’s a private company making a choice on behalf of North Shore youth and winning hands down.

Read more of Simon Collins investigation here.

Public Service and 5 weeks leave

Public servants who have been in the job for more than five years willl now be getting an extra week above the legal limit of 4 weeks.

Already public servants appear to work a gentle forty hour week, with time off for family committments, and in most cases no requirement to achieve sales targets.

How then is an extra week justified? In the private sector extra leave is negotiated based on performance. I have heard of some companies giving an extra weeks leave for long service, but this is generally 10 years or more…a substantial time to be in one job.

I had coffee this week with a friend who is looking for employment – his experience on the hunt for a job was that the public sector were paying 20% more than the private sector. And now they’ll throw in an extra week if you hang in there. If they are already paying above the market average what’s with the added sweetener?

I’d like to know.


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