Sunday, March 31, 2013


There is something really spooky about turning up your headphones in a coffee shop and cancelling out the chatter.

It really unnerves me, being disconnected. Why, I am not sure. If there is one thing in life that causes me anxiety it is to be disconnected.  The song is fading, the noise is back the inaudible murmur of many voices and conversations rush in.

Thousands of provincial government employees - full-time, part-time and contractual  lost their jobs this week.  

It is a strange feeling to loose one's job to seniority. The person bumping does not want to be in your job. It is a holding place.  The right size of government does not include many young professionals, at least not at this point.

Hundreds of educated young professionals have been shown the door. Last in – first out. It would be very educational to see a a demographic breakdown of those thrown out of work.

I heard the chair of the St. John’s Board of Trade say the hot local economy will have no problem scooping up the couple of thousand displaced government employees.   

That top of the trees point of view certainly does not reflect the opportunities for educated people on the ground level. In fact Statistics Canada says there are 14 people competing for every job available in this province, and that was before the cuts!

As for retraining. That only applies to those who have not completed a post-secondary degree or masters.  Those that work hard to get a university education, pay off the student loans  now find themselves  unemployed. The kicker the upgrading and training options are non-existent because they are considered employable!

Governments, business and the public sector unions need to take stock of the type of people that have been thrown out of work and develop a training program that allows them to be marketable in future. 

Help needs to be offered in re-training for trades and the fields where the job opportunities exist. Expecting them to take minimum wage jobs serving coffee or slinging hamburgers in this hot economy does not reflect their potential.

Retraining the unemployable over and over again while demeaning and marginalizing  those that had the get and go to earn/invest in an education is unconscionable. 

Those that write the guidelines and fund these programs need to take off their noise cancelling headphones and listen to the chatter.  They need to get connected

If not, we may loose another generation of our brightest.

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