HERALD WEEKLY ISSUE 608: 21 March 2012

Few locals show interest in restaurant employment
This may be the height of the tourist season but some restaurant employers are having difficulty in recruiting locals to work as waitresses and kitchen hands and for wages above the minimum wage level of $5 an hour.
Rosa Tauria who recruits staff for Trader Jacks and Bamboo Jacks told the Herald on Wednesday morning that despite recent advertising, she is still looking for waitresses, bar tenders and kitchen hands. The starting rate for a person with no previous experience is just over $7 an hour.
Last year, the interest from locals was high. Then, when looking for waitresses and kitchen hands, she had 20 locals express an interest.
This year, it’s very different. The interest from locals just doesn’t seem to be there. Three months ago she advertised for a waitress and received enquiries from parents of school kids. School kids are not suitable for employment on licensed premises. Two locals were interviewed. One turned up late and the other did not present well at the interview and did not seem interested. Two weeks later she received 6 calls from parents and one call from a local who was taken on but did not show up on the first day. She also received three calls from Fijians who told her they held work permits for employment but with other employers. She declined their interest.
Rosa said she prefers to employ locals first. The company has 50 local employees working at Traders, Bamboo Jacks and Blue Pacific fish processing plant.
She even contacted the Hospitality Training School in Turangi but they could not help.
By word of mouth she eventually employed four staff-three waitresses and one kitchen hand.
Now in the busy season, she is still seeking staff. Last Friday, Traders served 216 lunches and 435 dinners.
On the issue of foreign labour, the Herald was advised by the Immigration Division that it is government policy that a foreign worker can only have one form of employment and it must be a fulltime job. A foreign worker is not permitted to have 2 jobs.
A foreign worker may seek new fulltime employment but only with the permission of the previous employer who applied for the work permit.
Any employer who is approached by foreigners seeking employment should check their status with Immigration Division.
Immigration say that they may carry out spot checks from time to time to ensure work permit conditions are being adhered to. -Charles Pitt

Herald Issue 608 21 March
- Terms of one China Policy document should be reviewed
- Pacific Media Assistance Scheme Seeks Innovation
- Successful NZ visit by PM
- Rerekura Teaurere New Climate Change Coordinator
- News Briefs

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