Job seeker: Ben Fordham clashes with Jez Haywood on radio

An unemployed Melbourne resident who complained about a $20-a-week pay raise for a job seeker fell out with Ben Fordham in a heated radio interview after a 2GB host told a graphic designer to “get a job” last week.

But as far as “positive development,” Fordham said, 47-year-old Jez Haywood has been flooded with job offers. “We’ve got Jez back on tomorrow’s show and I have good news for him,” Fordham told on Wednesday afternoon.

“Several people came forward, wanting to give him a start. One guy has already contacted Jez directly via Twitter with graphic design. Tomorrow another hotel business from Melbourne will go on the air. People are ready to give it a chance. Jez has directly linked unemployment to his mental health, so that could be a positive thing.”

Mr Heywood, who is the President of the Australian Unemployed Union, has been out of work since 2017 due to health conditions and is living unpaid in his grandmother’s apartment on his parents’ property.

He caused the wrath of social networks and two-way radio last week after the story Australian he was “angry” and “annoyed” by the federal government, describing the $2.85 a day increase as “absolutely nothing”.

Mr. Heywood later struck back. criticism online showing that he has applied for 11 jobs in the last two weeks. In response to Fordham’s spray, Mr. Heywood called the host “a coward and a bully who has been shooting welfare recipients for years from the safety of his cozy radio studio.”

Fordham invited Mr Heywood to his Wednesday morning program for an extraordinary eight minute chatsaying that he “wanted to see if we could get Jesu a job.”

FORDHAM: Are you looking for a job at the moment, how is your search going?

Haywood: I’m looking for a job. I have mental health issues so my ability to work is severely reduced so it’s hard to find something that my brain can handle. The last job I got in an email from Seek said there were over 100 applicants so there are a lot of people looking for jobs and it’s a really tough market.

FORDHAM: These mental health issues were caused by not having a job, right?

Haywood: Yes, the poverty payments that the government gives us. There is only so long that you can apply for 20 jobs in two weeks and get absolutely nothing in return because there are so many people applying for jobs before it breaks you.

FORDHAM: You live in Melbourne, we see on the internet that there are 54,000 jobs available in Melbourne right now, this is on the Workforce Australia website. So none of these 54,000 jobs are right for you, or did you apply for them and they just didn’t give you the go-ahead?

Haywood: I apply for a job I’m qualified for and I don’t hear back

FORDHAM: I think we can help your mental health if we get you a job.

Haywood: Look, I’m sure it would help, but right now, you know, I can’t do things all the time. A mental breakdown is tiring, my brain is incredibly tired. I couldn’t reliably find a full-time job.

FORDHAM: But it’s a chicken-or-egg question, isn’t it, because you admitted that these problems were caused by your unemployment?

Haywood: Yes, but at the same time, the best thing that happened to me in the last three years was six months when the Morrison government doubled the number of applicants and removed all mutual obligations.

FORDHAM: What do you object to mutual obligations?

Haywood: Well, it has nothing to do. There is no room for maneuver. The other day I was talking to a member of the Human Resources department. It annoys them. They get all these apps because people have to [apply] to work or risk losing their benefits.

FORDHAM: Can we help you find a job right now? What job do you want, Jez?

Haywood: I want to get back into graphic design.

FORDHAM: So, graphic design part time in Melbourne?

Haywood: Yeah.

FORDHAM: Would you like to lift weights, if there was manual work, in the sun, good for your health, good for your mental health, would you do something like that?

Haywood: I don’t have the physical ability to do it.

FORDHAM: Okay, but what about something in the service industry, like cleaning dishes, working in a pub, or something like that?

Haywood: The problem with situations like this is I have a cousin who runs a supermarket and one day I asked him if he would hire me and he said he wouldn’t.

FORDHAM: Wouldn’t he?

Haywood: He wouldn’t do it because I have a graduate degree in graphic design and 20 years of experience, and he would see me not as a full-time employee, but as a non-permanent employee. If he had a resume from me and a resume from someone else who had only ever worked in supermarkets, he would immediately take the guy from the supermarket.

FORDHAM: But this is where you say to the person who has the job, “Hey, listen, I want this job,” instead of looking for reasons why you can’t do it.

Haywood: I’m not looking for reasons why I can’t do this, I’m telling you about a conversation I had with someone about their hiring practices.

FORDHAM: Could you say, hey, because, come on, I need a job here?

Haywood: I did

FORDHAM: And he stroked you?

Haywood: Yeah. He is in business.

FORDHAM: What would you say to someone in the graphic design industry who thinks I’m in desperate need of someone and I’m happy to give Jez a chance?

Haywood: Contact.

FORDHAM: And you could work part-time, eight hours a week?

Haywood: Yeah.

FORDHAM: That’s all?

Haywood: Yeah.

FORDHAM: Jez, I appreciate you coming on line and I wish you the best of luck in your job search.

Mr. Haywood then lashed out at Fordham for “calling me a National Radio Unemployment Bludger”.

Fordham denied using it these words refer to Mr Heywood.

“Well, others guessed it,” said Mr. Heywood.

“I’m not going to be responsible for others, I just want to get you a job, Jez, so you want me to help?” Fordham said.

“Do you want me to find me a job?” Mr Heywood replied. “Because you don’t speak well of me on the radio.”

Last week Mr Heywood said Australian The payout to job seekers must be at least $88 a day to keep recipients above the poverty line.

The government was forced to increase payments to job seekers from $49.50 a day to about $1,000 a fortnight, or about $68 a day—90 percent of the retirement pension—as recommended by the Department of Human Services’ Economic Inclusion Advisory Committee .

Labor said the $24 billion budget spending was something they couldn’t afford, but agreed to a much smaller overall increase of $2.85 a day, or about $20 a week.

In a budget speech on Tuesday, Treasurer Jim Chalmers said the increase in applicants was to “help secure a much-needed $4.9 billion increase to support an estimated 1.1 million Australians who are looking for work, studying or going through internship.”

“The budget is under acute pressure, but as a Labor government we will always strive to help those who need it most,” he said.

Business Council of Australia (BCA) chief executive Jennifer Westacott, speaking on ABC radio last week, welcomed the rise in unemployment but wondered what the government was doing to get long-term unemployment benefit recipients to work.

“You have to fix this system because it doesn’t work,” she said. PH Breakfast.

“Jobseeker has about 40,000 people who have been using it for 10 years. This indicates that the system is not working, something is wrong. We need to invest in skills, we need to find people who are destined for the job they can get. We need to stop sending people to jobs they have no chance of getting.”

Ms. Vestacott said the core skills budget package should target “very disadvantaged job seekers” or people who have been on welfare for a long time.

“Over time, we need workers looking for work to get 90 percent of their retirement pension, which I think we can all agree on,” she said.

“We need to do this in stages, timing the appropriate reforms to how the employment service system works. For example, why do we pay providers after someone has only been at work for four weeks, when they should have been at work for 26 weeks, and this shows that they will work longer? Why don’t we give the long-term unemployed a training guarantee so they can improve their digital skills and enter the labor market?”

Speaking on the same program, Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) President Michelle O’Neill said “more needs to be done to lift people out of poverty.”

“Because one of the things about being so low is that you don’t have money to pay rent, you don’t have safe housing, you skip meals, you can’t get data on your phone to be able to looking for a job, you can’t pay for transportation to go to interviews,” she said.

Asked if the extra $40 a fortnight makes these things more achievable, Ms Wood said it’s “a start, but it’s not enough.”

Labor MP Julian Hill, chair of the Parliament’s Select Committee on Employment in Australia, said in a statement Tuesday that it was “a myth that all unemployed people are willing to work or able to fill available jobs.”

“In fact, the data shows a huge discrepancy between what employers are looking for and the extremely complex workload of the unemployed, including skills gaps, disabilities and illnesses,” he said.

“There is strong evidence that the current system does not invest in people and is not adapted to their diverse needs, backgrounds and circumstances. Saying stereotypes about “Unemployment Bludgers” who should just “get a job” will make headlines but won’t really change anything. Long-term unemployment will not decrease without understanding the real experience of people.”

Originally published as ‘I just want to get you a job’: Ben Fordham clashes with unemployed Melbernian Jez Haywood