Work and Income come calling for ex-Huttons man

JAMIE SMALL
Last updated 05:00 05/07/2014

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Three months after being made redundant from Huttons, Darryl Anderson is still looking for work.

Anderson took a call from his Work and Income officer on Monday after appearing in the Waikato Times over the weekend. It was the first time he had heard from them since he lost his job, he said.

"I got a call from Work and Income. They're not too happy," said Darryl Anderson.

He said the officer - who he did not want to name - asked for his CV and presented him with the same two jobs she had shown him before, both of which were not suitable.

The first job was installing Pink Batts insulation, which Anderson said he had done before and it had given him a rash.

The other job was at Modern Construction, involving operating a crane, taking measurements and exact cuts to big pieces of steel that he hasn't got the training to do.

"I went down there and I saw the job and I thought ‘that's bigger than what I can do'," he said.

"I want a job, but I said I ain't an engineer, for a start."

He said the only reason Work and Income contacted him again was because of the article, and up until then they hadn't made things easy for him.

"I'm not trying to have a go at them, but it's a bit daunting, you know, when you've been working for 16 years, to go in there."

Te Aroha Tihi, who has been working for FIRST Union to support redundant Hutton's staff, said he hadn't had any real issues with Work and Income, but some people had found the organisation difficult to deal with.

"I had another lady who felt like she was being interrogated as well."

Ministry for Social Development Waikato regional commissioner Te Rehia Papesch said three seminars were run for Hutton's workers, and 150 people attended.

"We're here to make sure those affected have the information they need on where and how to get a job, and how to apply for benefit assistance to bridge the gap.

"It's not just about finding the vacancies - it's about matching people to a job that is suitable for them. We're continuing to work with Darryl and others as they look to get back into work.

"For anyone finding it tough, we urge them to get in touch and let us know."

As of March 2014, there were 1077 people in the Waikato on Work & Income Jobseeker support, and 25,067 people on all main Work & Income benefits.

Statistics New Zealand data indicates 15,200 people in the Waikato region were unemployed in March, an unemployment rate of 7 per cent. The national unemployment rate was 6 per cent.

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- Waikato Times

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