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Young too lazy? Or employers too crap?

By johnboy - 27 June 2010 88

The Canberra Times is running an epic whinge by Domino’s Belconnen Manager David Hutchinson:

Manager David Hutchinson said the store needed at least two extra staff members a month just to keep up with demand.

”Maybe four or five years ago there were a lot of kids who seemed to want a job, but there’s not as many as there used to be,” Mr Hutchinson.

”Kids are a bit lazier these days. They will just go and watch TV or go and play the Xbox instead going to work.

”You do get a lot of kids, too, who get a fair bit of coin off the parents.”

McDonalds are also saying “it has always struggled to fill jobs at its 15 Canberra restaurants.”

Now thats odd. Some of us distinctly remember queues around the corner for maccas jobs when youth unemployment in the ACT was over 50% (thank you Paul Keating).

Now here’s a thought. Rather than employers thinking the youth of Canberra are an indentured labour force, required to slave away in their kitchens to deliver up the funds to open up another franchise, maybe they need to offer pay and conditions that make the positions attractive?

Crazy talk I know.

What’s Your opinion?

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88 Responses to
Young too lazy? Or employers too crap?
squashee 4:09 pm 27 Jun 10

There are two issues here. Firstly, employers are not paying enough to entice young people to work for them and secondly, people are payed too much to sit on the dole and never work.

If you walk around DFO and even the Canberra Centre the majority of shops are displaying Position Vacant signs. It is very difficult to find young people with a good work ethic and with reliability.

Panhead 3:51 pm 27 Jun 10

Dominoes has the worst pay conditions no wonder they cant get staff.

vg 3:31 pm 27 Jun 10

Offer the kids pay and conditions that are better than what? The $0 they earn sitting at home doing nothing?

Prior to leaving high school (and having have something that made me slightly more employable, i.e. a Yr 12 cert) if I wanted my ‘own’ money I got a job. Some paid better than others but it got me my own money.

I’m with Mr. Hutchinson here, the yoof of today have attention spans of gnats and the get up and go of a 3 toed sloth

LSD 3:25 pm 27 Jun 10

Agreed. Would be interesting to see how much staff turnover Mr Hutchinson accrues through his management style.

I’ve never seen a decent manager have a great deal of problems retaining staff as there’s plenty of egomaniac shockers out there and workers know when they’ve got some decent manager who knows everyone is there to do their jobs, not submit to some weird feudal loyalty caper that some of these clowns get in their heads when handed a sliver of power for the first time in their life!

emd 3:03 pm 27 Jun 10

The difficulty with fast food chains is that they are only willing to pay junior wages to 16 year olds in order to keep costs low enough to sell cheap food and still make a profit for the owner. I bet if they opened up the positions to adult workers at adult wages, they wouldn’t have vacancies.

cegee 1:54 pm 27 Jun 10

word. this made me rage on this morning when i read it. also the article says something about how they cant find kids to fill “full and part time” positions – REALLY. apparently they would rather people working at dominos instead of in school. call me crazy but i’d rather have focused on finishing y12 than doing 25 hrs a week.

but having said that, i dont know ANYONE who didn’t have a job in highschool and college, and it wasn’t that long ago. i’m pretty bloody sick of this ‘lets shit on lazy gen y’ bullshit.

Tetranitrate 1:22 pm 27 Jun 10

Having worked in quite a few different hospitality related jobs over the years from high school through to uni, ranging from fast-food through to nightclubs and hotels, I do believe you’re correct in your assessment.
I worked at maccas when I was a fair bit younger, and the pay was pathetic (~$11 an hour as an 18 y/o), yet generally the amount and intensity of the work was actually a lot more then working in a hotel, in catering, or in a bar because Maccas *never* had what in any other job would be considered an adequate number of staff on. It strikes me as similar in most other fast food places. Why would anyone want to work in these sorts of places when there is less intense, less stressfull work which is still more or less entry level, that pays more!?!?

On a somewhat related note, I actually very much preferred the AWA I was on back before they got rid of them, because the pay was pretty good and everyone doing the same job was on the same damn contract. In a lot of places there’s a tendency for the relatively small number of full time workers who are members of the union to sell out largely younger, non-member casuals who make up the greater part of the workforce.
As I started at maccas they’d *just* got rid of weekend pay loading for casuals in whatever the collective agreement or whatever was. It’s a similar story with the ‘junior rates’ – and in that case some unions(*cough* SDA) actually support them!

Mathman 1:11 pm 27 Jun 10

Well, at $6.95 a pizza, the first three pizzas every hour barely cover the cost of their minimum wages.

The other part of this story was Supabarn complaining that there wasn’t a supply of qualified staff (like butchers) they could tap into for free and they were having to resort to training their own staff.

gooterz 1:07 pm 27 Jun 10

It amuses me the amount that companies pay in training and trying to get new staff when a slight increase in pay will keep many there and save all the extra effort and training costs!.

georgesgenitals 12:53 pm 27 Jun 10

Most of the ‘kids’ who used to do these kind of jobs can now find better jobs, and those who are left are, typically, lazier by nature.

So the entry level employers get the numpties. Which is why service in this part of the hospitality sector is garbage in this town.

bd84 12:34 pm 27 Jun 10

I can assure you that there is very little wrong with most employers in the retail/fast food industry, the employees are all on fairly generous union negotiated certified agreements. The pay rates reflect the basic work expected of them.

Unfortunately what the employers are saying us absolutely correct and has been a problem for at least the last 5 years back when I was still working in the industry. A large portion of kids born in about 1989 onwards are absolutely the laziest people in this city as they can’t be bothered working.

Gone are the days of kids lining up for jobs to work after school and weekends. Even when employers do hire these kids, they think the word casual means “show up if I feel like it and when I want to” and can provide every excuse possible for not showing up and their parents are normally willing participants.

I’m sure most people have stood in a long line at the supermarket or at the fast food place and complained about why there wasn’t more people serving, it’s normally because the kids working there haven’t shown up and the employers can’t get people to replace them.

Lazy is an accurate description.

screaming banshee 11:52 am 27 Jun 10

When I started my apprenticeship I wasn’t going to be earning as much as my friends that worked at macca’s until I was a third year. I dare say a few years later that those who hung around to become ‘management’ were probably earning more than me when I was a third year too.

I dont know what the going rate is but in most franchises its unskilled labour in the truest sense.

Ryoma 11:43 am 27 Jun 10

+10 Johnboy.

Maybe the fact that those of us who’ve worked in fast food restaurant chains did not enjoy the experience, or learn anything from it, beyond the fact that we knew damn sure we didn’t want to ever return to it?

Maybe that encouraged us to knuckle down at our studies more, and to encourage younger friends and relatives to do the same?

Maybe that 97.5% of Canberrans are employed (at least officially) and therefore all of those with the customer service skills and numeracy levels are either working else, or doing volunteer work to build their skills for something a bit higher?

Perhaps there are indeed some young people who don’t wish to work. After all, they watch their parents and others go off to work each day, and not all of those adults seem to enjoy their work, so why would they rush into something they percieve as miserable before they had to?

And finally, hands up who wishes to work at Domino’s or McDonald’s for their long-term career? As the article mentions, there are some, and good luck to them – but it appears many of them have only discovered that desire after they begin working there.

The hospitality industry needs to think long and hard about why it’s not seen as an attractive long-term career, alongside the other industries with skills shortages.

Professor Richard Florida (he of the “Creative Class” theory) says that we all need to find a way to make service industry jobs more creative and inherently interesting, or we will all find that it impacts upon us. See

sepi 11:34 am 27 Jun 10

i think it is the hours / security.

parents don’t like their kids finishing up after dark in places like dickson or that dodgy back bit of belco by the lake.

Eby 11:33 am 27 Jun 10

I don’t think that’s crazy talk at all!

I think it used to be that fast food joints and supermarkets were the only jobs around for young people still at school. Ten years ago when I was looking for my first casual job, my choices were McDonalds or Woolworths.

Now there seem to be a lot more options, particularly in the shopping malls. Why work stupid hours at Maccas and Dominos when they can get staff discounts at Dendy, cheap books atreading at Borders or play with the puppies at a pet store? Or, get hospitality experience at a restaurant or cafe?

You’re right JB, that perhaps McDonalds and Dominos need to make their wages and conditions a little more appealing to compete with other employment opportunities for teenagers…

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