Thursday, October 12, 2017

Up to 46 university students are vying for the one graduate job

Raife Watson, the CEO of Adzuna - a job search engine - told Lifestyle Overnight there were 'a lot of jobs out there, but not a lot of jobs for graduates'.

Mr Watson said Sydney was a great place for a graduate to find a job, as a lot of companies started up in the capital city, and a lot of infrastructure projects underway.

But for the best chances of finding a graduate job, Mr Watson said the Northern Territory was the place to go.

South Australia was the worst place to find a graduate position according to the company's research, with 46 graduates competing for each job on average.

NSW has odds of 20 to one, but the Northern Territory has only an average of ten people applying for each job.

Mr Watson said that unsurprisingly, the top end often struggled to attract graduates, meaning the jobs were more plentiful.

'Go somewhere where your skills are really needed for a couple of years and develop those skills,' he advised new graduates.

Nationally, the average was 22 new graduates for each relevant position.

Mr Watson said universities had 'a lot to answer for' in terms of course admission far outweighing job availability.

'Universities are now profit making machines, and a lot of them are offering huge amounts of students these courses that there are no jobs for,' he said.

'You come out of uni with a $40,000 debt and no hope of finding a job in your chosen profession.'

Mr Watson told the Sydney Morning Herald new graduates were now often taking up jobs completely unrelated to their expensive qualifications in order to pay the bills.

'You end up behind a bar, or in some other job that's unrelated to what you studied. You see a lot of law graduates going into sales or call centres,' he said.

And while Adzuna's research showed there were about 90 law graduates for every graduate law position, there were only nine graduates with engineering degrees for each related position.

Mr Watson said there needed to be a bigger push from the government to ensure fields that need skilled workers have enough people, and students aren't left out of pocket and out of a job.

'We need to think about what's really needed in education, the courses that we really need in the country,' he said. 'Why aren't we pushing more people into STEM [science, technology, engineering and maths] degrees?'


Penalty rates slashed as Federal Court backs Fair Work Commission decision

THE Federal Court has backed the Fair Work Commission’s decision to slash Sunday penalty rates for hospitality, retail and fast-food workers.

Unions representing hospitality and retail workers challenged the commission’s decision in June slash penalty rates for workers in the fast food, hospitality, retail and pharmacy sectors, starting on July 1.

But the court found no jurisdictional error in the commission’s February decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for full-time and part- time workers.

Malcolm Turnbull believes the Federal Court’s backing of a decision to slash Sunday penalty rates confirms the work of the independent umpire.

“These are the same unions that have been trading away their members’ penalty rates for years, but nonetheless they took it to the Federal Court and the decision of Fair Work Australia was upheld,” he told reporters in Sydney. “So that is the independent umpire doing its work and its work being confirmed by the court.”

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he was disappointed in the Federal Court’s decision.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry urged unions to accept the umpire’s decision.

“Now that the Federal Court has made its decision, employers should be able to get on with implementing these changes, and start offering longer opening hours and more shifts on Sundays,” chief executive James Pearson said. The chamber estimates the commission’s decision will affect about 220,000 workers in retail, pharmacy, hospitality and fast food.

“We are talking about limited changes - for example, from double-time to time- and-three-quarters for Sunday work,” Mr Pearson said.


Scale back Paris emissions commitment: Banks, Hilmer

Two of Australia’s most respected economic reformers have urged the government to scale back its commitment to the Paris emissions-reduction agreement and revive a market-based mechanism to curb greenhouse gases, suggesting the renewable energy target is damaging the country’s competitiveness.

Lamenting at least a decade of reform paralysis, Keating government adviser Fred Hilmer and Gary Banks, the inaugural Productivity Commission chairman, said they had all but given up on rational reform in the energy market. They were now left to hope that blackouts in Sydney and Melbourne this summer inject sense into what they saw as an increasingly dishonest policy debate.

Professor Banks sympathised with Australians who were “bemused” about rising power bills amid claims of a low-cost, renewable-energy future

“The notion that there’s a trade-off, that we can’t have it all, that there’s no free lunch, that’s not been made clear to the public,” Professor Banks said. “In fact when you look at it, we’ve ruled out all the least-cost ways of transitioning to a low-emission economy … we’ve ruled out nuclear and essentially ruled out gas too.

“I had a feeling under the last Labor government that there were tentative moves in the nuclear ­direction but then we had Fukushima, and that was it.”

Australia is the only G20 country with a legislative prohibition on nuclear energy.

Professor Hilmer, whose report for the Keating government unleashed a wave of pro-competition reforms in the 1990s, including helping to form the national electricity market, said blackouts this summer “would be great” to refocus the energy debate.

He and Professor Banks are both frustrated with state bans on gas ­exploration. “I can’t believe the problems (with fracking) are all that real; otherwise the US would be committing suicide,” Professor Hilmer said.

He suggested claims about the capacity of new batteries to store renewable energy had been exaggerated. “We need a blackout in South Australia when the new battery is going,” he said. “You can look at the sun shining and say renewable energy is cheap but it doesn’t solve storage. These huge batteries — half an hour’s power for Adelaide, or not even.”

In an allusion to South African billionaire Elon Musk’s plan to build the world’s largest battery in South Australia, Professor Hilmer said: “To say you have cheap power ‘most of the time’ is a ­disaster.”

Professor Banks, now a professorial fellow at the Melbourne Institute after 15 years leading the Productivity Commission, said Australia was getting ahead of other countries, notably the US, in pursuing low-emissions targets, to its economic detriment.

“We have to go back to start to look at whether we’ve signed up to something that for our economy is too tough,” Professor Banks said. “Not only are we choosing to transition to low emissions at a high cost, which is the RET or RET Mark II, we’re doing it over a compressed timeframe.”

In June the Turnbull government reaffirmed Australia’s commitment along with more than 100 countries to reduce emissions by at least 26 per cent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

Brendan Lyon, head of Infrastructure Partnerships Australia, which hosted the discussion with The Australian this week, said: “Paris is the hair shirt and we’ve popped on a straitjacket too.”

The comments will increase pressure on the Turnbull government, which has appeared divided on energy policy since the wake of blackouts in South Australia last year, to reject chief scientist Alan Finkel’s recommendation in June to introduce a clean energy target that would mandate a rising share of low-emissions energy provision after 2020.

Professor Hilmer and Professor Banks said the quality of analysis and modelling of energy policy, including in the Finkel review, had not been transparent, rigorous or comprehensive enough. “We’ve been cursed with multiple objectives,” Professor Hilmer said.

Professor Banks suggested the Productivity Commission should and could have made “a much bigger contribution” to the development of energy policy.

On Monday Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg hinted the government might not replace the Renewable Energy Target, which will require 33 terawatts of renewable energy generation by 2020, arguing wind and solar power were increasingly viable without support. The prospect of further blackouts when AGL’s Liddell coal-fired power station in NSW closes in 2020 has increased attention on national energy policy.

Professor Banks said Australia had ­ignored a 1991 report — the first of its kind for a developed country — by the Productivity Commission’s forerunner, the Industry Commission, which had laid out the best way to wean the economy off fossil fuels. “It was clear: it had to be an economy-wide (approach), not fixated on particular greenhouse gases, and use market instruments to ensure least cost abatement occurs,” he said. “Here we are 25 or 26 year later and we haven’t done any of those things.”

Professor Hilmer, who was a vice-chancellor of the University of NSW and Fairfax chief executive, questioned whether a government would be “brave enough to (tell voters): actually let’s stop and start again because we’re hurting this country by making it high cost”. Reform was easier in the 1990s, he said.

“We had a ‘burning platform’, now there’s complacency,” he said. “Second, we had bipartisanship; now we don’t even use the word. Third, we had strong leadership by prime ministers.”

The Turnbull government has struggled to implement the successor to Professor Hilmer’s 1993 ­National Competition Policy: Ian Harper’s competition review, released in 2015 under Tony Abbott.


Threats from union thugs at Queensland mine

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has rejected demands to ban political donations from the CFMEU, after members of the union were caught on tape allegedly using expletive-filled and threatening language.

The minority Labor government’s links to the union movement – in particular the CFMEU – dominated the ongoing sitting of Queensland’s hung parliament today, with the Opposition calling for a ban on CFMEU donations.

The Courier-Mail today published a video appearing to show CFMEU protesters at Glencore’s Oaky North mine yelling threats on the picket line, including one that read: “Crash your car into a tree on your way home”.

Opposition industrial relations spokesman Jarrod Bleijie tabled part of a letter from Glencore to federal Coalition MP Michelle Landry, outlining extracts from security reports prepared for Glencore detailing alleged verbal abuse by CFMEU members and officials.

The epithets include: “I’ll f***ing rape your kids c**t,” “I’ll rip out your spine,” “I’ll attack you with a crowbar,” “You’ll find him in the box watching videos of kids,” “ya f***ing dog”.

Ms Palaszczuk today described the allegations as “unacceptable”. However, when asked by Deputy Opposition leader Deb Frecklington in parliament if she would ban the CFMEU from donating, Ms Palaszczuk said, “the answer is no”.

The Premier is pushing for a similar ban on donations from property developers at state and local government levels, after a recommendation from the Crime and Corruption Commission.

The CCC did not recommend such a ban on union donations.

“The CCC’s view is that until such time as unions and other types of donors demonstrate the same risk of actual or perceived corruption in Queensland local government as property developers, a more encompassing ban is not appropriate,” the watchdog’s Operation Belcarra report said last week.

The Courier-Mail today published a video appearing to show CFMEU protesters at Glencore’s Oaky North mine yelling threats on the picket line, including one that read: “Crash your car into a tree on your way home”. The report also alleges protesters threatened to rape children, although that is not included in the footage.

Opposition leader Tim Nicholls said the report was “appalling and disgusting” and Ms Palaszczuk should refuse to take donations from unions, as she pushes to ban donations from property developers.

“We believe the threat of unions is equal to, if not greater, than any other group that makes donations to political parties,” Mr Nicholls said.

He said the CFMEU had influence over the Labor government and were “law-breakers who are becoming law-makers.”

Mr Nicholls would not say whether the LNP would back a proposed ban of developer donations. “The legislation should include the union movement,” Mr Nicholls said.

Ms Palaszczuk today described the CFMEU’s behaviour as unacceptable.  “It is not acceptable for anyone to use threatening behaviour, and I don’t care whether that person is from the business community, a member of the public, or a member from the union movement,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“I would expect everyone to comply with the law of Queensland, and the law is everyone is equal before the law.”

The Premier would not comment on the timing of the proposed legislation to ban developer donations.

“I will be having some consultations this week with stakeholders, and those consultations will begin today on the banning of developer donations,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“What the people of Queensland have seen is my government acting very swiftly … on accountability and integrity issues.”

“There is a very clear link between developer donations and the prospect of alleged corruption, there is a proven link, therefore we have an obligation to act on those reforms.”

The CFMEU issued a statement to say the union had issued guidelines to those protesting on the picket line and did not condone offensive behaviour.

Stephen Smyth, the CFMEU’s district president for mining and energy, said allegations of abuse should be taken to the police not the media.

“Almost 200 Australian families have been hung out to dry by the mine’s foreign owners as the miners - many of them primary breadwinners - enter day 100 of the dispute,” Mr Smyth said.

The CFMEU said the reports were being used as a “distraction” to the ongoing industrial dispute, in which the union claims Glencore refused to return to the negotiating table with local workers.

The union said today was day 100 on the picket line.

The Crime and Corruption Commission’s Operation Belcarra report last week recommended property developer donations to local government be banned, but did not make the same call in relation to unions.

Ms Palaszczuk has promised to widen a ban to the state level as well, and is currently having legislation drafted.


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

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