OnPoint by Keith Ng


Two wallops of wonk, with a side of waffle

If there's one heartening thing about the jobs summit, it's how utterly media unfriendly it is. Sure, there are set pieces where Key & Co stand up, sing "We're Doing Something" and takes a bow, but the actual summitting part of the summit is not just for show. In fact, it's so unshowy, it's unshowable (Chatham House Rules = no filming or recording).

Right now, there are about a dozen "sub-workflow" going on. Industry people clustered around focal points of influence - ministers and big name official. (Except for Gerry, who I passed on the way to the media room, perched by the sandwiches. I'm assuming that's not covered by Chatham House Rules. Anyway.)

The media are skirting around the edges, picking off the stragglers, but the tables themselves are tough. Aside from the fact that it's a group of industry chums sitting around talking among themselves, where media is really out of place, they're talking about detail.

So. Much. Detail. With a side of waffle. But mostly detail.

For example, the four-day work week is pretty much the four-day work week (or the nine-day fortnight), but the actual discussion that happens after that is around training, how to arrange the training through industry training organisations, how to ensure that the training programmes are driven by employer needs, employeer/employee negotiations about the kind of training... this is the kind of stuff that would make a news editor cry.

So, it's a little encouraging that much of this is not a pony show. It is a genuine attempt to listen. I'll let you know when I figure out what the hell they're actually saying.

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