Diane

Is it time to stop bringing any more migrants in?

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    With the bad news for jobs here in Adelaide, and the bad news about the economy of SA, is it time the government stopped trying to bring in more and more competition for the limited jobs there are here?

     

    Sorry to all of you not here yet, but I for one think it is more important to try and make a more positive job environment for the people already living here. Otherwise there will start to be resentment of new migrants as there has been for a while in the UK - "coming over here, taking our jobs" etc etc.

     

    If Holden shuts down altogether, we're going to be in an even worse state. Even if someone comes over here with a highly sought after trade and walks straight into a job, their partner and any older kids may well be taking up places in the workplace that could easily have been filled by a "local".

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    Guest cloudnine

    Got to say Diane, I am in two minds about coming to Adelaide at the moment. It makes no sense offering state sponsorship and encouraging folk to come when there isn't any jobs.

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    I agree, I know one of the aims is to increase the population here so that the working population's taxes are able to support the pensions of the ageing demographic, but if the working age people can't find jobs, then they won't be paying taxes :skeptical: and the tendancy here now seems more and more to be to put people onto fixed term contracts, so even if you find a job, you have no job security. It is probably the same in the UK, but certainly anyone with a "secure" job in the UK should think long and hard about whether to give that up

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    Guest Flo

    Actually it's pretty easy to make a case that this is a good time to bring in even more migrants

     

    - Migrants bring capital with them which leads to higher demand for local shops (-> more jobs) and local housing (-> more jobs)

    - Migrants in general will have a higher rate of labour force participation (i.e. the share which are working), which means that they will pay more into the social security schemes than they will take out (->good for locals)

    - Migrants don't take away jobs (or you are calling employers stupid since they hire migrants without much knowledge of local customs than those who know about them)

    - Stopping migration will also hurt sectors that rely on international connections (for example tourism, universities, other service sectors)

     

    it's understandable that people see this differently, but unfortunately it's not as easy as less migrants -> more jobs for locals (and the empirical evidence is that for many locals, though admittedly not all, immigration is actually an economic benefit)

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    All I know is today I have heard of 18 more people in government jobs getting made redundant - these are 18 people I know. As well as the news about cancelled projects elsewhere. I know it's very selfish and a short term view on my part, but personally I would rather efforts were more focussed on ensuring job security for those of us that are here, than bringing in a load more competition!

     

    Australia may not officially be in recession, but it's a very slow burning candle here in SA which is starting to affect more and more people.

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    Also I have felt for a long time that in SA there are a lot of jobs on the migration "shortage" list which are actually already filled past saturation point here. Maybe somewhere out in the outback there is a shortage - but the number of UK migrants who come over and want to go and live way out in the stix is very small.

     

    It's about time Adelaide and rural SA were separated on the lists - and like that couple that got deported up in Queensland, if someone comes out for a profession that's in short supply way out in the wilds, they should have to live out in the wilds, not settle in suburban Adelaide.

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    Guest cloudnine

    It's even worse than giving up a good job for me. I've just signed a contract to sell my Company. So thats it and the dream of living in Adelaide is looking like it might not become a reality.

     

    I agree about the lists. There is no way my job is a shortage list job, No way at all.

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    Otherwise there will start to be resentment of new migrants as there has been for a while in the UK - "coming over here, taking our jobs" etc etc.

     

    I actually brought this up at my workshop on Saturday with the group. You have to be realistic in the current job market this could be an issue and/or some peoples opinion.

     

    For example the story was on the news recently and then the knock on effects of the campaign with peoples comments on the facebook page can be seen below.....

     

    http://www.ncah.com.au/news-events/f...midwives/1750/

     

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Austra...20442598117213

     

    I know of 3 people that have been made redundant in the last couple of weeks all in very different roles and industries. I was talking to a recruitment agency contact today who deals with Government temp roles and they were saying that some of the departments have bans on recruitment and I know they are cutting back on their use of agency staff.

    Edited by Jessica Berry

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    the tendancy here now seems more and more to be to put people onto fixed term contracts, so even if you find a job, you have no job security.

     

    I was reading the other week that casual and contract labour now comprises 27.9 percent of the Australian workforce—second only to Chile within the OECD.

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    I was reading the other week that casual and contract labour now comprises 27.9 percent of the Australian workforce—second only to Chile within the OECD.

     

    There's a fair bit of evidence to suggest it's considerably higher than that. Sham arrangements conceal some of this, and the Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work carried out last year puts the total figure at around 40 per cent:

     

    http://www.actu.org.au/Images/Dynamic/attachments/6637/Lives%20on%20Hold%20-%20Unlocking%20the%20potential%20of%20Australia%E2%80%99s%20workforce.pdf

     

    Jim

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    I have to say I have been thinking this myself recently.

     

    This site is increasing full of people applying for visas or just about to come over and I wonder what they are letting themselves in for. I used to think that if you were in nursing or something health related you were OK, but even that seems to be less secure these days. Lots of people also think they will pick up some casual unskilled work ("anything"), but that's easier said than done. You seem to need a certificate in everything here. The building industry has been on hard times for many months now. The Australian PCI (Performance of Construction Index) was 39.0 in March - by comparison the UK PCI was 47.2 (anything below 50 indicates contraction). The Australian PMI (Manufacturing Index) was only 44.4 (UK 48.3). Many people predict that Holdens will shut in the next year or so, which will have a huge knock-on effect here in Adelaide.

     

    I think it's another case of politicians being out of touch with reality - believing all the good news about the economy and putting their heads in the sand when it comes to bad news. South Australia is arguably in recession (apparantly not all the factors are technically in recession but the main one - State final demand - is) but this never really gets reported on the media. Likewise, when house prices in Australia had a jump in the 1st quarter it was widely reported, but nobody mentioned that in South Australia they didn't rise at all. Just today it was announced that a $1 billion mineral processing plant which was to create 1000 jobs at Whyalla has been scrapped due to a challenging business environment. All the good statistics are coming from the boom state WA.

     

    The Agent-General's office in London are still busy putting out advertising campaigns about how great SA is, but they are totally out of touch and full of spin. See http://www.britishchamber.com/announcements/south-australia-one-of-the-hottest-destinations-for-u-k-migrant-workers

     

    I know the UK economy is in a mess, but it's not that much better here, and all the indicators point downwards. The media here love to paint a rosy picture about most things, but if I had a secure job in the UK I would really be thinking seriously about emigrating. As they say 'a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush!'. As for local people out of work, I think some employers here see it as an easy solution to bring in an experienced worker from overseas, who they don't have to train. It's very demoralising for the people over here, and if the economic situation gets worse (which I think it will), then it is only logical that resentment will build up against overseas workers and migrants.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Guest Flo

    I am not arguing that the economic situation in South Australia is great, though it's neither doom as well. But the main point is that a simple "The ship is full" is not true and that migration doesn't 'take away' the jobs of locals. Actually it's even counterproductive and dangerous since it is very easily abused with nationalistic and racist overtones, which also might cost jobs.

    Also another common problems most of us (including me) have is 'confirmation bias', we only see evidence that confirms our views and hypotheses. I think the economy does badly, so I only see if somebody gets made redundant but don't pay attention that somebody else found a job. South Australia is going down the drain, of course we are lagging WA but that's only relative not absolute. More and more jobs have flexible conditions, so I whine about the rise of 'insecure jobs' but don't care that it allows people to work part-time and spend more time with their families....

    Can and should we discuss the specifics of immigration policies, sure absolutely, but a simple 'stop migration' is not helpful...

     

    btw, I am curious, would anybody here support a policy by the state government that actively pays people to move to Sydney, Melbourne and abroad ? Wouldn't it be an easy way to open up jobs for unemployed locals ?

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    ......... More and more jobs have flexible conditions, so I whine about the rise of 'insecure jobs' but don't care that it allows people to work part-time and spend more time with their families...........

     

    No offense meant to you personally but that sentence is the biggest load of crock - if you have a mortgage and (increasingly high) bills to pay, and a family to support, then the last thing you're going to want is to "spend more time with the family" which after all has been a euphemism for 'getting sacked' for longer - and in more countries - than I can remember! If the main wage earner and bill payer 'gets' to work part time on 'flexible working conditions' through no choice of their own, then it sure as hell isn't good news!

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    Guest Flo

    Diane, I am sorry but you make exactly my point. Your view is that the rise of part-time work is bad, and as evidence you present a very general case throwing around generalizations. Yes, for some people part-time is bad, but for some it's helpful. Or do you want to force every wife to either work full-time or not at all ?

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    No Flo, my point was that if the choice is made for you, not by you, then it is usually a bad thing. If someone wants and needs to work full time (and be paid a fulltime wage or salary) but is put onto short shifts and part time hours and pay then I cannot see how it can possibly be good.

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    I am guessing that you are a native Ozzie then Diane?

     

    Personally, I think most economies whether in growth or recession phases will benefit from skilled migration. Britain is struggling right now, but there are always shortages of skills in certain sectors and these need to be filled to drive growth.

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    No offense meant to you personally but that sentence is the biggest load of crock - if you have a mortgage and (increasingly high) bills to pay, and a family to support, then the last thing you're going to want is to "spend more time with the family" which after all has been a euphemism for 'getting sacked' for longer - and in more countries - than I can remember! If the main wage earner and bill payer 'gets' to work part time on 'flexible working conditions' through no choice of their own, then it sure as hell isn't good news!

     

    Where my husband works nobody is employed on a full-time basis any longer, only permanent part-time. Some have been there for 8 years and are still only part-time! I am sure they would all love the security of a full-time job.

     

    As for immigration not taking away the jobs of locals, surely that is only true if there is full employment? (ie. everyone who wants a job has one). Otherwise locals and migrants will be competing for the same jobs. There is a lot of talk about a massive skills shortage here but I am sure that many South Australians would disagree. A few years back hairdressers were on the wanted list - surely that is not a skills shortage but merely a reflection of the failure of the local education/training/apprenticeship system?

     

    I read a story from Greece the other day, where low-paid and highly exploited migrant Pakistani workers at a strawberry farm were shot at by their employer when they demanded their pay. An absolutely awful situation, but how come they were employed at all? The unemployment rate in Greece is 27% - so there is certainly no shortage of local Greek workers available. But this highlights how some unscrupulous employers are only too keen to hire migrants over local workers as they know they will work for less. I am not saying that the same happens in Australia, but it is easy for employers to lobby for more migration as migrant workers are can prove to be cheaper (lower wages, less training costs) than Australians. Gina Rinehart is a big fan of getting in migrant workers to work on her mines for those very reasons.

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    I was born here in Australia, yes Gus, but have also lived in Adelaide for nearly ten years and the economy and job situation is worse here at the moment than I have ever seen it. OK, call me selfish (and I'll hold my hand up to that one) but when my own family, and that of many of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances here, is under severe threat, and the worry about losing jobs and income is ever present and looming large for many many people here, I just think for the SA government to continue to encourage more and more people to move here is not helpful.

     

    Shut the door I say, or be honest with those people who still want to move here that the jobs they want are most probably not within metropolitan Adelaide, and if they want to fill those jobs, they will have to live where the jobs are.

     

    As an example, I am pretty sure Mechanical Engineer is probably still on the list of jobs in SA which need more people, probably even Automotive Engineer - yet Holden,one of the biggest employers in the area of that type of engineer, looks more and more likely to be closing down completely in the not too distant future, and all those local people, with mortgages and bills to pay, deserve the right to first dibs at any jobs that are going - they are competing already with a large number of other similarly affected people, without bringing in overseas migrants as well.

     

    I know this will not be what people currently applying for visas, or waiting to move, will want to hear but in my view charity begins at home and regardless what is best for the economy in the long run, it's the short term that needs to be sorted out, and I can tell you, short term the prospects in SA are not looking rosy...

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    OK, call me selfish

     

    I just think for the SA government to continue to encourage more and more people to move here is not helpful

     

    Shut the door I say, or be honest with those people who still want to move here that the jobs they want are most probably not within metropolitan Adelaide, and if they want to fill those jobs, they will have to live where

    jobs are

     

    local people, with mortgages and bills to pay, deserve the right to first dibs at any jobs that are going - they are competing already with a large number of other similarly affected people, without bringing in overseas migrants

     

    I think the only people that woud call you selfish would be the ones wanting to come over! (unless you are also a lolly-hogger!)

     

    I totally agree with all your posts on this. Part of me feels mean but the realities of life mean I need to consider the financial survival of my family.

     

    I have a son who is desperate to work, bills I can hardly meet and a casual contract with hours which diminish every year.

     

    I am sure Flo will find people who enjoy shorter hours but, as you say Diane, most people want permanancy and more hours. If you choose part time hours then good for you, but for those of us that have gone from full time to 21 hours a week, it SUCKS! The industry I work in is probably like most others now - they have to penny pinch to survive and fight against offering permanancy. Temporary contracts work well for them, not us. Our load is 22% which means we are not eligible for sick pay. We have no guarantees for future employment. No holiday pay - and please do not tell me the extra 22% pays for that as our rate is pretty derisory at best. I love my job and, in an over-competitive market, am lucky to have it.

     

    My son is not eligible for any Centrelink payments as we are expected to provide for him. Obviously that's our responsibility as parents and we love him but his life is limited by the fact we cannot afford to buy him new clothes etc or pay for him to be the lovable larrikin he should be at his age. I know heaps of kids that have left school but cannot find work. They are bored, frustrated and on the road to depression. In spite of the sun! I know adults who have been retrenched, fired etc and they are struggling to keep their homes and that's grim.

     

    We now have third-generation unemployed. The current situation is not helping, just adding to the statistics.

     

    If you want to come to SA, good on you. It's a lovely place to live if you have a job. If you don't have a job, then you might find your vision of paradise sorely affected. The jobs on the wanted list are not usually reflected in Adelaide so if migrants are allowed to continue coming, I totally agree that they should have to go where they are needed. And I reckon you will soon find out WHY people are not flocking to fill those positions.

     

    ​LC

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    Or do you want to force every wife to either work full-time or not at all ?

     

    ​What brings you to the (totally sexist) conclusion that only wives get casual contracts?

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    I was born here in Australia, yes Gus, but have also lived in Adelaide for nearly ten years and the economy and job situation is worse here at the moment than I have ever seen it. OK, call me selfish (and I'll hold my hand up to that one) but when my own family, and that of many of my friends, colleagues and acquaintances here, is under severe threat, and the worry about losing jobs and income is ever present and looming large for many many people here, I just think for the SA government to continue to encourage more and more people to move here is not helpful.

     

    Shut the door I say, or be honest with those people who still want to move here that the jobs they want are most probably not within metropolitan Adelaide, and if they want to fill those jobs, they will have to live where the jobs are.

     

    As an example, I am pretty sure Mechanical Engineer is probably still on the list of jobs in SA which need more people, probably even Automotive Engineer - yet Holden,one of the biggest employers in the area of that type of engineer, looks more and more likely to be closing down completely in the not too distant future, and all those local people, with mortgages and bills to pay, deserve the right to first dibs at any jobs that are going - they are competing already with a large number of other similarly affected people, without bringing in overseas migrants as well.

     

    I know this will not be what people currently applying for visas, or waiting to move, will want to hear but in my view charity begins at home and regardless what is best for the economy in the long run, it's the short term that needs to be sorted out, and I can tell you, short term the prospects in SA are not looking rosy...

     

    I think what you are describing is a failure of the politicians to actually look at long term sourcing needed and prioritise accordingly; of course this must be frustrating for locals who cannot find work, or whose future prospects are threatened.

     

    When I visited a specialised recruiter in March she was extremely positive about the employment situation in my field, as there are a lack of skilled locals to do the job - as the skills list suggested. Apparently from the opinions on this thread that's not always the case, so maybe I'm the lucky one. My wife is a teacher and although there seem to be very few permanent positions, there does appear to be a good deal of relief teaching, so i suppose in those circumstances you have to take what you find, impress, and hope to earn a permanent position.

     

    From my perspective (still in the UK), although the economy here is poor there are definite skills shortages in certain areas, and skilled migration is always healthy for the recipient economy, as well as it's managed well. Obviously this isn't always the case in South Australia (or the UK).

    Edited by guspjmh

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    Guest Flo
    ​What brings you to the (totally sexist) conclusion that only wives get casual contracts?

     

    I am sorry but I wasn't trying to say that only wives get casual contracts (which indeed would be sexist) but empirically I believe it is fairly certain to state that more women than men have (voluntary) casual positions. Furthermore my impression is that this forum (and this thread) is more frequented by women, and indeed many mothers, and I thought it would be easier for you to relate to the desire of a mother to combine work and family life in a more balanced way. (but since I think I failed in conveying that, my apologies)

     

    Nevertheless thanks for making my point in stating that there are men who want to work part-time as well. Now I am not trying to deny that there are many cases where people are forced to go part-time and it is really hard for those affected, but at the same time you can't deny that there are people out there for whom the opportunity to work in a flexible, non-full time way is great and they prefer it over either full-time or no employment. I just try to point out that we often focus on the negative side of certain developments, policies, etc while neglecting to realize that they also have positive sides.

     

    I think I also have to expand my earlier statements. When I talk about migration being positive for the economy and locals then I am talking in generalities. Which implies that I neglect to mention that yes, there are some people which are disadvantaged, but in total the benefits outweigh the negatives. Now the problem is that a few people are hurt hart while many more benefit, but only a little bit. And since we tend to primarily see the negative impact while the benefits are so much more dispersed (for example ten people lose their job while a million people have to spend 10$ a year less on groceries, a sum small enough that we likely won't notice it) our reaction is so negative and we call for remedies (like stopping migraiton) that will therefore only help a small number but hurt many more. I just believe that there are better ways to react and to keep most of the benefits while also helping those that are hurt.

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    I am sorry but I wasn't trying to say that only wives get casual contracts (which indeed would be sexist) but empirically I believe it is fairly certain to state that more women than men have (voluntary) casual positions. Furthermore my impression is that this forum (and this thread) is more frequented by women, and indeed many mothers, and I thought it would be easier for you to relate to the desire of a mother to combine work and family life in a more balanced way.

     

     

    Flo, there's an old adage about when you've dug a hole for yourself the first thing you should do is stop digging.

     

    It's great that some people can choose to work shorter hours, but that's not really what this thread is about - many people in Aus with part-time jobs would dearly love longer hours, as witnessed by how many of them have second and third jobs ...

     

    Jim (of the masculine gender)

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    There's a fair bit of evidence to suggest it's considerably higher than that. Sham arrangements conceal some of this, and the Independent Inquiry into Insecure Work carried out last year puts the total figure at around 40 per cent:

     

    http://www.actu.org.au/Images/Dynamic/attachments/6637/Lives%20on%20Hold%20-%20Unlocking%20the%20potential%20of%20Australia%E2%80%99s%20workforce.pdf

     

    Jim

     

    Thanks for this Jim, I will have a read. I think you are probably right that the figures are higher. I remember when I started my first job over here and a lady I worked with told me she had been casual at this particular workplace for 10 years (partly her choice though) my reaction was "10 years!!!!". I have another Aussie friend who has been casual at her employer for about 12 years.

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