How do we help the young?

Re: ‘It just doesn’t stack up’ by Rob Walker (Times, February, 2).

I sense some sarcasm in your reply, Mr Walker, but I still prefer [French playwright, actor and comic artist] Moliere!

The John Key ‘rockstar’ economy: ploughing and gazing; foreign tourism and serving each other cups of coffee; buying goods – creates no wealth but makes shopkeepers wealthy.

Yes, there is a shortage of tradespeople. National scrapped the apprenticeship scheme and closed the door to evening classes.
How did this help the young? They had to leave these shores to undertake apprenticeship or industry training. A case of knowing the cost but not the value? A disaster for this country!

To compensate for a lack of skills, we had a net migration of 62,500. Naturally this led to extreme pressure on houses and infrastructure, a situation utterly denied by Mr Key.

Distinguished Professor Gaven Martin [of Massey University and leading NZ mathematician] writes about maths and science education: “For the last two decades there has been no political will to fix this mess. Maybe our political classes agree with the Productivity Commission, that we should import those with the skills our economy needs, and our children can look after the tourists.”

I never pretended to be an expert in rail. But my father, in the Foreign Legion before WWII, knew a thing or two. When he wasn’t taking a train into Poland to bring out allied airmen, he was blowing trains up in France. Does that count?

Brigitte Horne