An Australian business owner struggling to find workers says many would rather sit around on the dole than get a job despite the nation’s unemployment rate surging in 2020.
Craig Crighton, owner of Magnetic Island Sea Kayaks, spoke out about his frustration finding staff for a role that pays $50 per hour.
‘This seems to be the new normal in North Queensland. Too much Centrelink handouts,’ he said.
‘I’ve been trying to get a worker, right, for a while now, we’re willing to pay $50 an hour from 8:30 to 12:30, so you only work 4 hours a day, you get $200 a day, five days a week, so you’re getting a grand a week,’ Crighton told his followers on TikTok.
‘I have a summer kayak business so mainly you’re going to be snorkeling with the guests. So it’s not that f*cking hard. It’s not rocket science.’
But despite offering what many would consider a dream job — it’s been almost impossible to fill the role.’We had a lot of people who were saying back that “I’m not getting that early, it’s an 8:30 start. People don’t want to work. What’s going on?,’ Crighton asked.
Craig runs Magnetic Island Sea Kayaks and spoke out about his struggle to find workers
How much do Australians on the dole get per week?
In April the introduction of the coronavirus supplement effectively doubled the rate of JobSeeker to $557.85 per week.
The supplement was cut in September, leaving JobSeeker recipients with $407.85 per week and then that was reduced again in December to $357.85 per week.
Under the current JobSeeker rates, a single person with no children can earn up to $715.70 a fortnight, which includes a base rate of $565.70 and the coronavirus supplement.
The additional coronavirus supplement – currently $150 a fortnight – is due to end on March 31.
Many business owners across the nation have complained about their struggles to recruit staff despite surging unemployment, and some MPs have called for the generous COVID-19 assistance measures to be rolled back amid fears people are being deterred from finding work.
In December, 21 per cent of businesses told the Australian Bureau of statistics ‘they were having difficulty finding suitably skilled or qualified staff’, despite an unemployment rate of 6.6 per cent.
It was an issue touched upon by Senator Anne Ruston last week, saying the government did not want people ‘disincentivised to work’.
“As the economy is recovering, as the jobs market is improving, we need to make sure that we have got the right incentives for people to go back to work,” she said.
However, research from the University of Melbourne’s Jeff Borland shows the flow of unemployed people into work has been virtually unchanged through the pandemic compared to the period between 2017 and 2019.
But since May, there has been an 814,000 increase in people with a job, the largest and fastest increase on record.
‘So where’s the disincentive caused by the higher JobSeeker? There isn’t any, he told the Sydney Morning Herald. ‘You’ve had the largest increase in employment ever and it happened while the unemployment benefit was $550 higher than normal.’
He said the job is easy — but many don’t want to take it because the 8:30am start time is too early
But that’s not a sentiment being echoed by business owners like Crighton, who says he knows of many others all over the country who need staff now.
‘There’s hardly any restrictions on working here in Australia – unlike in places in full lockdown like the UK, so people should just get out there and work,’ he said.
‘To work and keep your brain and body active, that’s the best thing.’
The Aussie jobs paying six-figure salaries despite the coronavirus economic crisis
Thousands of high paying jobs will become available in Australia despite the country being in the middle of its first recession in almost 30 years.
Australian mining company BHP announced on Tuesday it will create almost 4,000 jobs to help rebuild the nation’s economy.
BHP CEO Mike Henry said the $800million employment package would create 3,500 apprenticeships and training programs across Australia.
The programs will run in conjunction with CQ University and North Metropolitan TAFE, with 450 people already enrolled as of September 30.
Meanwhile 1,000 apprenticeships and short training courses will be made available in various regional areas, in partnership with the Australian Government.
BHP committed $30million to the regional program with an eye towards training for future job demand.
Apprentices and trainees could find themselves working at any of the more than 20 BHP sites across the country.
A further $450million will be invested in contracts with Mining Equipment, Technology and Services (METS) companies in Australia.
The almost half a billion dollars will be used to source local products and services, as well as investing in technology pilot programs and emerging businesses.
Mr Henry said BHP recognised the important role the mining industry played as Australia’s biggest export earner, employing hundreds of thousands of people.