Dozens of older public servants’ re-employment chances have just been made more difficult with changes to tertiary education, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.
“Under Steven Joyce’s latest tertiary education changes, which kick in this month, anyone over 40 will not be able to access financial support to retrain or up-skill for another career if they have had three years support at any time in their past.
“Figures obtained by the Dominion Post show that across 10 ministries or departments, there have been 970 redundancies in the last couple of years.
“Forty two per cent, or 412, of these have been over the age of 55.
“In the Department of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Education, the numbers of over 55s and those aged between 40 and 54 who have lost their jobs has been roughly equal.
“These people have considerable experience and years of working life in them yet. In his drive to downsize a public service – increasingly giving advice the Government doesn’t want to hear – Mr Joyce is condemning them to a life of uncertainty.
“It is no coincidence that the highest level of over 55s made redundant has been in the Department of Conservation, where one in five people losing their jobs were over that age. Experienced officials are being culled.
“The latest student support changes will impact severely on recently redundant older public servants. New Zealand needs a highly skilled and experienced public service, not a hollowed out one,” said Maryan Street.