Mrs Potter’s prognosis of her problem is correct, but she fails to spot the real cause. It has nothing to do with wanting “young, pretty ones”.
Hospitality wages around Australia have priced out any floor staff over the age of around the mid-thirties. Wages have been legislated higher and higher and have accordingly pushed up the necessary level of staff quality. Only the very best can profitably be employed at current rates.
Anyone who is not super-bright, super-organised and, as importantly, super-fast cannot qualify. The latter prices out older people
I can no longer employ older people because no matter how smart, organised, personable and experienced they are, they are not going to be able to keep up the pace over a five to eight-hour shift. They have to be able to do the work that two people did only fifteen years ago. Over that time, the wage rate has doubled; thus, my staff numbers, while not quite halving, have dramatically reduced.
At a time when schools are turning out young people with their heads full of rubbish, good staff are harder and harder to find. I have over fifty years in a ‘hands-on’ situation in the hospitality business to judge that. I would love to be able to employ the common-sense associated with a more mature generation. Unfortunately, it is not possible to profitably employ them; therefore, I don’t.
Anyone but the smart and the fast need to look elsewhere. The problem is that the same situation exists across the board; it’s not just a hospitality problem.
Mandatory high wage rates have created an underclass in Australia. Not only do they have no jobs, they have no chance of ever getting one again. Their government has legislated them unemployable.
Letters to the editor complaining about age discrimination won’t change that. Abolishing all minimum wage laws will. If everyone was allowed to earn what they and their employer agreed they were worth, then unemployment would be non-existent. The word ‘unemployment’ only came into existence after the first minimum wage laws were introduced in the late 19th and early 20th century in the UK.
Ironically, pretending that everyone is worth the same produces elitism. An ever-decreasing number who have the dignity and independence of a job and an ever-increasing number who rightfully resent the fact that they don’t.