Saturday, October 16, 2004

Blame for the "skills shortage"

Adele Horin gets to the nub of the "skills shortage" in today’s SMH:

Australia probably has the best-trained waitresses, bar workers and shop assistants, and the best-qualified unemployed in our history. But still we can't get a plumber to fix the tap, or a nurse to work in aged care, or a trained teacher to work in a child-care centre. For every four trainees, we produce one apprentice; it's cheaper for business.

Surprise, surprise – privatisation (= boomer siphoning of all the good jobs, and diverting every cent of spare profit into their own managerial pockets, instead of investing it for the future) has led to some negative outcomes.

But when both major parties can’t even bring themselves to admit that privatisation has been an economic catastrophe (at least for those born after 1963), an actual solution seems a long way off. In the short term, why not solve the trade skills shortage by bringing over a hundred thou or so bonded tradies from India and China, to work for $1000/month? After all, if such wages and conditions are good enough for white-collar workers . . .

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