MP flat out trying different jobs

21:41, Feb 28 2014
Jonathan Young
SERVICING PUBLIC: New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young works as a waiter in Arborio experiencing what it’s like for first-time job seekers. Clockwise, from left, Lynsey Talagi, Maata Wharehoka, Pip Laufiso, Jacinta Nielsen and Agnes Wharehoka (obscured) get their water topped up.

Carrying a tray of flat whites proved easier than backing a truck and trailer for New Plymouth MP Jonathan Young.

He has tried his hand at several jobs this week ahead of launching the Taranaki Futures initiative which is designed to upskill youth and ready them for the workforce.

Mr Young has been up at 4.30am to drive down the coast to milk cows, did welding at Pace Engineering, backed a truck of condensate at Hookers and yesterday was working as a waiter at Arborio.

"I'm experiencing what a first-time job seeker might find," he said. "It's not as easy as I thought."

The initiative aimed to bring together the education sector and employers to streamline pathways to jobs for young people, he said.

He managed to avoid a kick or a cow pat in the milking shed. "I got splattered a few times. Not on my head like people had hoped."

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And how did backing a truck and trailer go for him?

"Not good."

Eirylie Hayes has been a waitress at Arborio since October. She said having previous experience made getting a job much easier, but it was a different story for unskilled 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds.

Her advice to job-seeking youth was to not give up. "You may find people will discriminate against age but keep trying because eventually you'll get there."

Taranaki Daily News