The Federal Government’s plan to relocate the long term unemployed to Queensland in order to fill demand for labour to rebuild the state after the Queensland floods is likely to fail, claims former head of Drake Personnel, Matthew Tukaki.
Matthew Tukaki, who is the current CEO of The Sustain Group has on one hand welcomed the focus on helping the long term unemployed. but cautioned that the movement of and change in workforce dynamic to feed demand in Queensland could also have a devastating impact on other parts of Australia and large industry in particular.
Mr Tukaki was speaking at a client and partner briefing in Sydney this morning, where he was describing the flow on effects to the nations labour supply channels as a result of multiple natural disasters and an already building domestic economy. On the Governments program he had this to say:
“There is no doubt that a program that provides incentives to the long term unemployed to move interstate is a good thing had our economy just been ticking over. The reality however is that demand for trade and vocational skills will be overwhelming in Queensland at a time when industry across the nation is growing and those same skills are in heavy demand.” Mr Tukaki said.
The Australian Governments relocation incentive program began from the 1st of January and has recently been expanded to include a further 4,000 places.
“My view is that the adoption rates will now be minor for a few reasons. The first is that the cost and availability of accommodation will be scant in flood affected areas where rebuilding will be necessary. With the University of Southern Queensland putting a call to arms out into the community for student accommodation, the market just will not be able to absorb previously unemployed workers who will need much more than just one off grants to get established.” Mr Tukaki said
“The second problem is that large volumes of the unemployed statistics are people who fall short of the skills requirements for those jobs that will be in high supply. Plumbers, and carpenters, electricians and roofers, brick layers etc – had we been able to increase vastly the number of longer term unemployed people into technical and vocational education programs, more so than we have in recent times, then we may be facing a different situation.” Mr Tukaki said
“The third problem the program faces is that quite often those who relocate will be doing so with no family or social network in place – that can be a big barrier because if anything does go wrong in a new location, the consequences can be devastating. So, there really needs to be a range of follow-on services made available once an individual does relocate such as happens within the recruitment industry where post placement candidate care is important.” Mr Tukaki said
The initial Australian Government program has been run as a pilot and only five applications have been received so far: