Jobs still hard to find, say desperate Cantabs

19:12, Nov 08 2012
Jordie Sayer
DETERMINED: Jordie Sayer is finding it tough to get a job in Canterbury.

Some Canterbury jobseekers are struggling to find work despite the latest Household Labour Force Survey showing a decrease in Canterbury's unemployment rate in the last quarter.

Jordie Sayer, a 33-year-old single father from Hornby, said it was tough to find work despite the Christchurch rebuild picking up pace because he was not looking for work in the construction sector.

He has full care of his 11-year-old daughter and is staying at his mother's home. He was looking for full or part-time work that fitted within school hours, but that was hard to come by, he said.

Sayer has searched for work off and on since going on the domestic purposes benefit about two years ago.

Most jobs Sayer wanted to apply for required a full driver's or heavy transport licence and he would have to save up to get those, he said.

"Being on the benefit, I only get $280 a week and most of that goes out in board and food so you've got to save up for that sort of stuff."


Sayer has been a security guard, a volunteer worker at Orana Park and a shearer.

Jobs he has applied for include work as a cleaner or caregiver.

One organisation said it had simply received too many applicants for the role.

Twice he called about advertised roles that the company had already filled but had to advertise anyway. He also applied for a job as a painter but was told he lacked the necessary experience.

Sayer is now applying for work at Pak 'n Save.

His goal is to start his own business exterminating pests such as rabbits on farms. In the meantime, he has applied for work at existing pest-extermination firms but is required to own a four-wheel-drive vehicle or quad bike.

Robert Glennie is also struggling to find work.

Glennie has a bachelor of science degree and a post-graduate diploma of science in hazard management, both from the University of Canterbury, and was employed in a contract administrative role at Environment Canterbury from 2008 until the February 2011 earthquake. After the quake, he completed a certificate of business applications at Vision College which included training in business accounting software and business report writing, in December 2011.

Since then he has been applying for three to four jobs a week.

"I have put myself on the books of over half-a-dozen recruitment agencies, of which only one or two have been able to come up with suggestions for alternative work."

Glennie has been getting by on unemployment benefit and living with his parents. He was now looking for administrative, call centre or customer service work, while continuing to seek resource management planning work.

"I think the Christchurch job market is not brilliant," he said. "I'll be 32 in December and I need a job fast."

Some prospective employers had not even acknowledged receipt of Glennie's application and, after one or two months of not hearing anything, he assumed he had been unsuccessful.

He missed out on a position with Christchurch City Council because the successful applicant had more knowledge of resource management planning than he did.

"Others have simply said too many people applied and I didn't make the cut."

Glennie is now applying for jobs all over New Zealand.

The Press