CEO PULSE: Labor's growing labour crisis

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How about instead of relying upon an ever increasing number of skilled migrants - which is mathematically unsustainable - we actually train the millions of underemployed and unskilled here in Australia? (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28).
Our colleges, schools and universities have failed in delivering the type of workers we need for the 21st century.
I'd rather see us spend $43 billion on restructuring and revitalising our pathetic education industry than an NBN. Such an investment could be done for a much better return and we would not be reliant upon a dwindling market of overseas skilled workers.
Regarding companies blaming the government for a shortage of skilled labour (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28): Yes the government can do things better, but the real problem is the focus of most Australian companies on short-term profits.
It is much cheaper and easier to advertise for experienced employees and then request the government to allow overseas skilled workers in if there are not enough people to fill the positions, than train an Australian workforce.
I am not suggesting that we do not allow skilled workers in to fill bottlenecks. The skilled labour shortage in Australia is unfortunately more than a bottleneck and the problem is a result of the policy that 'somebody else should be doing the training'.
So the only real solution is that companies and government should be training an Australian skilled workforce and allowing unskilled overseas employees in to fill the gaps.
While the government has a responsibility to improve availability of skilled labour it is a bit rich for companies to suddenly start complaining. (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28).
For too long many have abrogated their responsibility to their industry and workers for short term gain. While small companies may find it difficult, I well remember when WMC canned the graduate mine engineers training program as not being their core business. Well guess what? Try and find a mining engineer now.
This is a pattern repeated across many industries and all the government can do is give tax breaks to those companies willing to take on the responsibility. At some stage companies have to target a better business plan than just tarting up the next quarterly announcement. Rather than complaining about training someone who might leave, understand that they add to the pool of skill and add overall downward pressure to the salary market. Consider the alternative. You train your people and they stay!
I find this type of article somewhat of a beat-up. Not by Alan Kohler, but by employers putting out furphys and dis-information. (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28).
I'm 63 years old with 37 years experience in most facets of the oil and gas industry, from the basics through to senior management. I'm tired of listening to politicians and pundits banging on about the "seniors problem", the lack of experienced and skilled workers and the consequent impact on productivity and the economy.
I've been trying for two years to come out of early retirement and obtain employment in an attempt to increase my potential retirement income and thus not be a burden on the state. I've not had any takers and I know of many others at my age in my position. One look at my CV and my Date of Birth and in the bin goes my application. I reckon all this blowhard stuff from employers, health care organisations and politicians is to cover up a lack of ideas.
I'm now only 18 months way from a State part old age pension. What's the point in trying any further I ask myself? I'm now content to add the State Old Age pension to my superannuation income, thanks very much, but not for want of trying not to. Employers and governments have only themselves to blame for the burden created by people such as us.
I don`t know of any HR manager who can`t get at least three candidates for each role. I suspect this is a very small area of skill shortage being blown up out of all proportion (See Labor's growing labour crisis
, September 28). Maybe there is a skill shortage for employers with little to offer, however there is no shortage for companies that offer attractive working conditions.
If companies could open their eyes to the mature labour market this would be better (Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28). There are plenty of highly qualified people with a professional doctorate who have difficulty finding work.
I believe the ABS stats misrepresent the true picture of employment within Australia. Certainly in Melbourne I've been in contact with many professionally skilled people who have been unable to find a job in the last year. They are in a position where they have savings and cannot thus register as unemployed. I guess this suits Canberra and the projection of a vibrant economy!
The stand out paragraph in this article is: "84 per cent of CEOs report that they are having trouble finding staff with technical or specialist skills and 72 per cent are finding it difficult to hire managers. On the other hand hiring unskilled staff is relatively easy -- 75 per cent report that that's not very hard." (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28)
This suggests to me that there is a huge gap in the education and training being provided to Australians. I think the reality is it's too easy to find an unskilled job paying a huge salary (ie driving a truck in the mines earning $100,000-plus) and it is too hard to get an education - a four year degree could cost $100,000. The government and big business need to address this rather than taking the easy way out and bringing in more and more skilled migrants.
The comments thus far are a great indication of the capability and willingness of local labour to deal with our so-called skills shortages.
I've also witnessed supremely capable and experienced people literally tossed on the scrapheap. Whilst we lament the lost retraining opportunities and so forth, don't overlook the fact that industry and the consumer driven society are driving this problem.
As consumers we've backed ourselves into a corner with our indebtedness and this has forced business to reduce its input costs. The upshot is there is a shortage of people willing and able to work for less.
One only needs to listen to the likes of Gerry Harvey who said one of our problems was we didn't have the same level of 'illegals' that employers could tap into, as the US.
Pay skilled labour better (ie a bigger differential between skilled and unskilled) and it won't be too many years before there will be plenty of skilled labour. (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28).
It's not the government, it's "bottom line" management who are "bottom lining" themselves out of existence.
The absence or a lack of skilled labour is an utter rubbish (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28). Some employers just do not have an understanding of the labour market and are trying to find $100K workers on $50K wages. When they can't do it, they cry poor and demand an immigration increase.
What about training or hiring older workers eager to work? I do not know any other OECD country where it is so much more difficult for a person over 50 to find a job in comparison with a person aged 40.
Those with long memories will remember the government decisions in the 1990s to reduce in-house training in the defence forces and outsource catering, maintenance and a whole lot of trade related tasks. (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28).
That government put the country as a whole on the path of 'someone else will do the training'. Looks like it's time to pay the piper.
Depending on your industry and your financial position this is a catch-22 for some businesses but blatent stupidity for others (See Labor's growing labour crisis, September 28). Small business in construction know that there is going to be a skills shortage in 2-3 years, but they don't have any current work to pay for and train apprentices.
Big business is penny pinching for this years earnings report trying to attract skilled workers, but not willing to attract new recruits.
The mining sector is the biggest culprit. They are screaming for skilled workers knowing full well that they need more, but they are slow to offer the necessary FIFO conditions for cleanskins to be trained up.