TOO MANY LOAFERS

Baker says job­less pre­fer dole to work

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - AN­DREW BACKHOUSE

THOU­SANDS of peo­ple are un­em­ployed in Townsville but one lo­cal busi­ness­man says some would rather be on the dole than work.

Frank As­p­land, from Bak­ery on Prim­rose in Bel­gian Gar­dens, has of­fered 10 ap­pren­tice­ships in a year.

“I can’t get peo­ple to do the work. They’d rather go back on the dole,” he said.

I CAN’T GET PEO­PLE TO DO THE WORK. THEY’D RATHER GO BACK ON THE DOLE FRANK AS­P­LAND, FROM BAK­ERY ON PRIM­ROSE

THOU­SANDS of peo­ple are un­em­ployed in Townsville but one lo­cal busi­ness­man says some would rather be on the dole than work.

Baker Frank As­p­land, from Bak­ery on Prim­rose in Bel­gian Gar­dens, said he was at his wits’ end af­ter be­ing un­able to find staff.

He has of­fered 10 ap­pren- tice­ships in the past 12 months but has been turned down each time.

“I can’t get peo­ple to do the work. They’d rather go back on the dole,” he said.

“With this much un­em­ploy­ment, how come I can’t find work­ers?”

Mr As­p­land spoke out af­ter the Bul­letin yes­ter­day high­lighted the plight of job­seek­ers in Townsville and their frus­tra­tion at be­ing un­able to find work.

One sin­gle mother had not found work af­ter ap­ply- ing for more than 800 po­si­tions. More than one in ev­ery 10 peo­ple in the Townsville re­gion are un­em­ployed.

But Mr As­p­land, owner of Bak­ery on Prim­rose, is now so dis­il­lu­sioned about job­seek­ers that he is not hir­ing.

“The point is for peo­ple to turn their back on an ap­pren- tice­ship in this em­ploy­ment sit­u­a­tion is to­tally and ut­terly lu­di­crous,” he said. “They go back to job net­work and back on dole – how the hell does that work?”

Mr As­p­land said peo­ple who did not ac­cept job of­fers should be de­nied un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits.

“If you don’t show up for a job in­ter­view, you should not be en­ti­tled to any­thing,” he said. “We’re mak­ing it too easy for them.”

Mr As­p­land said the Townsville econ­omy was the worst he had seen.

And while he cred­its the State Gov­ern­ment for its poli­cies to im­prove the sit­u­a­tion, he said the work­force it­self was part of the prob­lem.

“The younger gen­er­a­tion wants to start at the top,” Mr As­p­land said.

“Their ex­pec­ta­tion of work­ing doesn’t match re­al­ity.

“They want the world at their feet and be­cause their par­ents have given them the world. They think they can have ev­ery­thing.

“But it’s a big, tough, vi­cious world out there.”

The sit­u­a­tion is so bad for Mr As­p­land that he has al­ready sold a busi­ness be­cause of a lack of staff.

“I’ve been work­ing 19 hours a day. On Sun­day I got no sleep at all and worked for 38 hours straight,” he said.

Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

STAFF SEARCH: Frank As­p­land from Bak­ery on Prim­rose is strug­gling to find work­ers.

Pic­ture: FIONA HARD­ING

NOT IM­PRESSED: Frank As­p­land from Bak­ery on Prim­rose says he has of­fered 10 ap­pren­tice­ships in 12 months only to be turned down.

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