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Skill shortage solutions

By Gungahlin Al - 12 August 2005 18

On ABC 666 radio yesterday, some supposed expert was telling the morning show that the apparent skills shortage in ACT should be alleviated by relaxing work visa regulations to encourage more people from overseas. Part of the discussion was about how ACT has the lowest unemployment rate, at 3.2%, against 4.99% for the Nation. But doesn’t that highlight a fairly important point, and potential solution, that seems to have slipped right by their expert?
Yep – unemployment is higher elsewhere in our own country, people are looking for work – they are just not looking here.

Without having to resort to solutions that also increase the already unsustainable population, what we need is a campaign to get people to think about Canberra.

Canberra is a great place, with a postcard everywhere you turn. Unlimited career development potential, not crowded, stuff all traffic problems. Just ugly housing everywhere you turn.

And anyway, back to this supposed skills shortage: why am I getting sick of writing job applications and doing interviews, if there are so few people looking? No – don’t answer that!

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Skill shortage solutions
Al 12:45 pm 15 Aug 05

Ah dear – “redneck state”?
As a born Queenslander, I have to point out that I am part of an endangered species. Queenslanders are getting very hard to find in Queensland – Southeast Qld anyway… The southerners flocking to smother that area rarely venture further north as the humidity knocks them for a six first summer they see. But insults aside, bulldog is right – the State has infrastructure problems, and they go right back to the Joh era, and will take many more years to fix, regardless of the government of the day.
But having lived much of my life there, I can say bulldog: there are just as many rednecks down thisaway.
I am also qualified to say that I’m happy to leave it to all the southerners trying to squish themselves in up there. 1,200 people per week (yes – that is per week!) migrate north to SE Qld alone!
I think Canberra has a hell of a lot going for it, and am happy to move here. The secret to the climate is to just get a good (read: expensive) set of wool thermals for winter, and if you think summer is hot, then you’ll just luuuv Qld – not!
But my point for kicking off this thread was to see if people really thought there was any as claimed ‘skills shortage’ out there, in what areas, and is there really a need to go looking overseas for people?
I can’t help but think from the above discussions, that to some extent, Canberra’s main problem in selling Canberra to the rest of the country – is Canberrans!

bulldog 12:28 pm 15 Aug 05

Your call Mael, I’ll miss the well articulated (and exceptionally punctuated) ranting.

But IMHO I certainly won’t be joining the grey army and migrating north with the rest of the cashed up baby boomers.

If you think the ACT’s overpriced now, wait until Queensland’s population swells with well off retirees vainly scratching around the sun for a place to die.

Becasue of this you can expect them to overburden the state’s ailing health system.

With all that capital tied up in pure consumerism you can promise a successful career in Retail or Hospitality for your kids.

Although I shoud say thanks because by taking yourslef and well educated kids (assuming they are not educated in a Super School) out of Canberra you are ensuring that the skills shortage and ageing population grants me heaps more money in my back pocket.

But if shitty public transport and a lack of some children’s imagination is the impetus to expose yourslef and loved ones to “the redneck state” than so be it, I wish you luck.

There are a number of shitty things about Canberra, I won’t disagree with that, but the town is not terminally ill. The only thing we can’t fix is the climate.

Maelinar 9:52 am 15 Aug 05

Canberra isn’t a bad place. No, can’t bring myself to saying that. It’s freezing in winter, overheated in summer. The best description I can come up with for the surrounding countryside is desolate wasteland.

Everything is overpriced due to our overabundance of diplomatic staff who can pay those prices, housing is astronomical, infrastructure is poor, and planning nonexistant.

Young adults of the city’s idea of having a good time is hanging out at the mall. Enough said.

You can’t even catch a bus to the airport.

Canberra isn’t a nice place at all. I’m here for several reasons;

1. Money – I can sit in a public servant job and get paid, no brainer.
2. Children – Because of the threat of diplomatic hostility the hospitals in Canberra (believe it or not) are that little bit better than the rest of the country.
3. Children – Inlaws live here, and they will be babysitting our children when we have them whether they like it or not because I’m not paying childcare.

As soon as the children are of an age, we’re going with the rest of Australia and moving to Queensland.

bulldog 8:49 am 15 Aug 05

Fair call annie, makes me think that for a ‘planned city’ there have certainly been a lot of thoughtless decisions made…

But it can be fixed; it’s a matter of identifying these pitfalls and voting in a government who will attend to them.

Mael, Canberra is not a bad place. You are reasonably well travelled so you know that for all the bitching we do about the place, that it rates pretty highly when held up against the cess pits of the third world, the industrial filth of the second world and the increasing crime rates of the any other first world capital (maybe other than Ottawa).

annie 5:49 pm 13 Aug 05

Here’s my take on the ACT skills shortage.

Basically, a lot of it is code for “Damn, I can’t just hire an experienced person for crap pay; I’m going to have to hire someone keen and train them up.” Ie: there are a lot of employers who don’t WANT or can’t handle the task of training new people, and they just want experience, which you can’t get without being given a go somewhere.

Secondly, it’s to do with basic logistics and aesthetics. Canberra is the nation’s capital, yet it doesn’t have an international capacity airport, OR a decent train/bus service within the ACT or outlying regions like Goulburn (or Yass for that matter). Let’s be honest, you have to drive everywhere really, and that’s always an interesting experience, given the high levels of patience and politeness exhibited by ACT drivers.

So in my opinion, there’s no point being clever and thinking of ways to sell the city to tourists and potential employees if it’s too much bloody trouble to get there in the first place, then get around.

It’s not an image problem; it’s a poor use of resources problem.

mister z 5:42 pm 12 Aug 05

Maelinar, sounds like your canberra loathing would drop right off if you quit the job you hate and stop hanging around in shopping malls.

Thumper 2:35 pm 12 Aug 05

80% still!!

Man, thats a worry….

Maelinar 2:29 pm 12 Aug 05

80% thumper 🙂

self explanitory…

Further lessons avaliable at the Durham from 4:30

Thumper 2:27 pm 12 Aug 05

Shit, does that mean I’m going to get the sack?

Who is OH&S malingering? Who’s doing the credit taking?

Maelinar 1:55 pm 12 Aug 05

Canberra Sucks, I’ll admit it.

I spend enough time on this website getting down on the Government for their abhorrent waste of money, crap water infrastructure and policy, and clearly no idea on how to govern for that to be obvious.

The malls are havens of IQ leeching depravity, and they stink of human sweat, with fashions more appropriate on Jerry Springer than Milan.

Of course Canberra is a shithole. It’s just not as bad a shithole as any of the other capital’s. (Except Perth, I’d love to live in Perth – if anybody has a job in perth that pays anything over 50k, I’ll do just about anything).

Canberra has a bloated governance of self important office hitlers who snap at you when you want to use ‘their’ stapler, and practically send you to the gas chambers if you move their OH&S chair a fraction from where they left it.

The fortunate thing is soon the workplace is going to be very lean. Very lean indeed.

Then workers like me (the poor sod who actually sits there and does some work instead of gloating to the director about work that I have done that they have pirated) will get revenge.

OH&S malingerers will be ousted like the leeching scum they are, office politicians will lose their support base of directors who are too passive to chuck them out, and lunchtime meetings at pubs will be reintroduced.

And the people who actually work. We will be like gold. It’s interesting times coming up…

bonfire 1:28 pm 12 Aug 05

54 11 is to me a major career advantage. i look around here and see plenty of opportunities.

bulldog 1:11 pm 12 Aug 05

Chris,
I think Al was implying that we need to address the problem with Canberra’s distateful reputation amongst our countrymen as a means to addressing potential employment problems down the track.

That was my take anyway…

Chris 12:18 pm 12 Aug 05

Al, most (normal) people don’t WANT to think about Canberra – we’re here because we WORK here, I wouldn’t visit Canberra if I was spending me my own money, let alone LIVE here!

Maelinar 12:17 pm 12 Aug 05

Hear Hear Ari, my thoughts exactly.

Once all the old farts start dropping off, it’s gonna be a free reign for us people who don’t conform to the standard 5 selection criterion.

Personally, I’d love to say at an interview “Actually the reason why I want to work here is because you will pay me money to do it”, instead of all that flowery crap about being a nice place to work and all that garbage.

Ari 10:00 am 12 Aug 05

A skills shortage is good for employees like me, thanks very much, and I’m not overly concerned that it should be “fixed”.

It gives employees better bargaining power with employers and, at least in my case, this has been an advantage.

It seems to me the whinging mostly comes from employers who would like to be able to offer derisory pay and conditions.

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