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Australian PM Targets Imported IT Workers

samzenpus posted about a year and a half ago | from the no-visitors-allowed dept.

Australia 224

beaverdownunder writes "A debate 'down under' has started to rage surrounding the importation of 'temporary' IT workers on so-called 457 visas, with the Prime Minister promising to bring in tough new restrictions on foreign workers in a pre-election pledge, despite evidence that there are insufficient numbers of Australians to fill the skills gap. Some quarters argue the foreign workers are necessary to drive growth in Australia's IT industry, while others have cited examples where large Australian companies have imported workers needlessly, displacing qualified Aussie personnel."

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Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leylot? (4, Interesting)

jacobsm (661831) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180665)

And how is this different from the controversy over this exact same subject here in the US, and I'm sure in other countries too?

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (5, Informative)

helobugz (2849599) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180713)

It's different because the aussie leadership actually recognize it as a problem. In the US it's just business as usual.

No, they haven't (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180747)

You need to actually live here to understand the politics of the situation. The problem is that the government has lost control of illegal immigration (purely their fault, because they're the ones who dismantled a border-control regime that worked), so in order to signal to the electorate that they're very very very concerned about illegal immigration, they're... cracking down on legal immigration.

People on 457 visas have average annual incomes safely over ~$90k, which makes sense - the 457 program is targeted at areas of skills shortage. There is no comparison with the H1B visas in the US.

Australia does not need IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180821)

Australia already has plenty to sell

Australia is getting very wealthy selling raw materials such as iron ore, gold, natural gas, and so on

They don't need IT workers

They are rich enough to outsource all the IT works to India or Indonesia

Re:No, they haven't (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180829)

Since when are boat arrivals illegal?

Hint : They arent. Fuck off you racist cunt.

Re:No, they haven't (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180881)

"...Fuck off you racist cunt."
Racist? I don't think the word means what you think it means.

http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=racist

"Hint : They arent."
Care to explain *why* they aren't or is this all you have dickhead?

Re:No, they haven't (1)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181105)

Off your meds today, moonbat?

Re:No, they haven't (2)

black3d (1648913) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180887)

He didn't say "illegal boat arrivals". He said "illegal immigration". Immigrating without fulfilling the legal requirements of the nation you're moving into, is illegal. Simply visiting or arriving isn't, but he never said that did he? The fact you reached a race-driven conclusion of a statement that was never made says more about the likelihood that you're racist than he is. Generally, non-racists don't apply racial connotations to statements which have nothing to do with race. Racists do.

However, back on topic - despite arrivals being perfectly legal, if you appear to be immigrating illegally, you'll still be turned away. Thus, those people without the means to convey themselves away from the port of arrival, and are denied entry, are de facto illegal immigrants simply by the fact that they can't go anywhere else. They're trying to enter.

Re:No, they haven't (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181121)

Which is not "illegal immigration" by the US definition at all. They just need to make sure people getting on planes have a ticket to fly home as well. This is a REQUIREMENT for visiting many countries. Australia is an island, it can't be that hard to prevent illegal entry.

Re:No, they haven't (1)

jadv (1437949) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180911)

That is precisely the paradox that the GP is bringing up. The PM is trying to sell apples to an electorate that wants to buy oranges, and is wrapping them up in marketroid rhetoric to keep the people from realizing that he isn't really addressing the actual problem. Par for the course in the rotten world of pre-election politics. If immigration is outlawed, only the outlaws will immigrate. Disclaimer: I am an "imported worker," only not from that part of the world.

Re:No, they haven't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181327)

"The PM is trying to sell apples to an electorate that wants to buy oranges, and is wrapping them up in marketroid rhetoric to keep the people from realizing that he isn't really addressing the actual problem"

Don't let the androgynous look fool you the PM is a woman, a barren woman devoid of hips (and policies) but a woman none the less.

Re:No, they haven't (0, Troll)

benjfowler (239527) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181011)

LOL. Said like a true campus leftist.

This guy is either whiter than sour cream, and comfortably middle class and doesn't have to deal with the consequences of multiculturalism.

Or some brown abo or leb who think that anybody opposed to brown privilege and endless handouts to the dregs of the Third World is a "RACIST CUNT1!!1111one"

Re:No, they haven't (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181047)

The butthurt is strong with this one

Re:No, they haven't (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181165)

Since they associate and provide funding to organized crime (people smugglers). Denying access to immigrants that associate with criminals and providing funding is fair especially when there are people in Africa etc. getting killed and mutilated and trying to come over the CORRECT way but unable to be processed because the greedy people on boats are clogging up and slowing down the system. These same people refuse to get off boats in any other country offering them safe harbor - they want to cherry pick where they get off - that is not the behavior of someone in fear of their life. That is the behavior of someone holding out for economic reasons.

Re:No, they haven't (1, Flamebait)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181187)

You politically-correct fanatics are worse than witch hunters, religious inquisitors or McCarthyists. Looking for evidence of "racism" where it doesn't exist just so you can give your life some meaning by going into attack mode.

Re:No, they haven't (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181195)

So, you are saying that if I get in a boat and enter another country I haven't broken a law in that country?

How interesting. I must try that with the USA some time. Oh. Yeah. That's right...

Get your facts straight you dumbarse bogan moron (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181555)

The problem is that the government has lost control of illegal immigration (purely their fault, because they're the ones who dismantled a border-control regime that worked),

Hey look. Some bogan piece of shit discovered Slashdot. Or more likely they are burgalarizing someone's house and discovered a computer logged on and typed their xenophobic racist always-drunk where-is-my-welfare dumbarse shit. Anyways to educate this dope:

457 are legal visas, you dumbarse. They were introduced by the Liberal Party when they were in power so employers would have access to skilled overseas workers. Yes, there were Aussies with IT skills who were wrongly passed over and now unemployed because of this, but the 457s are legal legitimate visas. Nothing 'illegal immigration' about them at all, you dumbarse

Labor's PM Julia Gillard is extremely unpopular, and she is trying to whip up a racist frenzy to get votes. That is the sort of person she is. Since the 457s were introduced by the Liberals this is a nice two for the price of one. But did I mention her own press secretary is a scotsman she hired on a 457 visa? What a fucking hypocrite.

And as for illegal immigration you are probably getting that confused with refugees. It is perfectly legal to be a refugee, turn up at a country and ask for refuge. That's why they call them refugees. Nothing illegal about that either.

The good news is being stupid isn't illegal either, so that lets you off the hook as well.

So anyway my dumbarse your-mamma-must-have-drunk-while-she-was-carrying-you dope, learn to fucking read a bit before you let your shit for brains tell you what to say or type. Durrr hurrr derrr. read moar: http://theaustralian.com/ [theaustralian.com] http://theage.com/ [theage.com] http://crikey.com/ [crikey.com]

Australian-American Translation Needed (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181661)

What's a "bogan"?

Re: Australian-American Translation Needed (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181705)

White trash, but more inebriated and generally worse in all respects.

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (3, Interesting)

TheLink (130905) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180837)

If you are growing GDP just by importing workers you're often not growing GDP per capita. Which means you're not actually making the country's people richer on average.

It is of course usually harder to grow GDP by increasing productivity per person.

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181331)

AU Immigrants in the IT field are mostly from Europe, particularly the UK. They are selling their homes and taking at least 450,000AUD with them. That's a nice sum coming directly into the country for almost no effort.

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (4, Interesting)

SourceFrog (627014) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180931)

You do realize that any reasonably non-crap programmer ALREADY basically competes with you no matter what country you live in. I know "out of sight out of mind" but programmers don't just disappear because they live in a different country, and the market is pretty well globalized. So you can either let programmers create jobs in another country or contribute to your own economy.

There's more to life than money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181461)

So you can either let programmers create jobs in another country or contribute to your own economy.

But it's not just to the economy that they contribute. They also contribute to the reduction of the culture (by bringing in their own, different culture). Increased immigration is usually associated with increased crime and reduction of social trust. With enough immigration, the host country's infrastructure is deteriorated faster.

It's easy to see the amount paid in a salary to an immigrant. It's far harder to quantify the non-economic impacts, or even the economic impacts that are diffused throughout the entire region. But those non-economic costs ARE there, and they are borne by the citizens of the country.

Re:There's more to life than money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181605)

I don't agree that increased immigration means an increase in crime. Natives are very capable of committing crimes.

As far as competing with programmers in a different country, I'm less worried about that now than I was 10 years ago. Offshoring jobs has, for the most part, proven difficult. Maybe not difficult, but it certainly didn't pay off like most companies though it would. See, management has this dream that someone will write specs during the day and then pass them off to programmers in a different country at night (where it's daytime). Those specs will become a program that can be tested the next day. A 24-hour work cycle! That hasn't come to fruition. It takes longer, there are language barriers, it's difficult to set up meetings. When company claims offshoring works, it comes at a personal cost to employees, i.e., putting longer hours to support offshore workers and faster burn out.

If I had to do it over again, I'd be a plumber.

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180749)

Not every country is stupid enough to do this

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180961)

It's different because:

1. Slashdot is reporting on a political topic that isn't US-centric. That's different enough on it's own to be celebrating.
2. And because it means we get to enjoy that crocodile-tooth hat icon. I mean... who wouldn't want to see more of that?

Hat? How about the next Elle MacPherson (1)

ebno-10db (1459097) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181741)

it means we get to enjoy that crocodile-tooth hat icon

To each his own mate (that's Australian right? I saw it on a Foster's commercial), but I'd rather see the next Elle MacPherson. Come to think of it, even at 48 the old one is looking pretty good.

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (2)

Dr Damage I (692789) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181313)

It's different inasmuch as Labor is in a hole WRT the slowly approaching election and are trying to win back blue collar voters that they have been sneering at for years by pushing an issue that is completely irrelevant to those same blue collar voters. I just can't figure out if Gillard actually thinks that flushing Labor's moral high ground on immigration is a good idea or if she's just trying to stick the knife into whoever takes over after she is dumped as leader. At least the second option would show some imagination; knifing someone in the back when you don't even know who it is is actually pretty impressive.

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (1)

Looker_Device (2857489) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181391)

And how is this different from the controversy over this exact same subject here in the US

Well, in Australia the Prime Minister is actually OPPOSING visas that cut native IT workers out of work (and artificially lower wages). In the U.S, by contrast, the President is falling all over himself to say how great they are, and ask for even more [dice.com] .

Re:Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-leyl (1)

tlambert (566799) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181603)

And how is this different from the controversy over this exact same subject here in the US, and I'm sure in other countries too?

There were 4500 Australian IT undergraduate student completions in 2011, and 5800 visas.

Perhaps if they'd had 10,300 Australian IT undergraduate completions, they would have had 0 visas.

Just because you have 10,300 Australians out of work and 10,300 IT jobs open doesn't mean that you can employ those out of work people as IT workers if only 4500 of them were qualified to do IT work.

This is just politics as usual.

Re: Mah nishtanah, ha-laylah ha-zeh, mi-kol ha-ley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181739)

Undergrads are all well and good, but count for little unless you're a programmer or working for an American company (who seem to worship uni degrees with a fervor seldom seen outside a Nashville Music Festival).

It's quite easy to achieve a good career in infrastructure with industry certs, experience, and a solid grounding in common sense. A smattering of analytical ability won't hurt either.

Thats what you get. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180675)

When you teach your kids to be Tradies.

Deal with it.

Just a desperate PM (5, Insightful)

Silicon-Surfer (1412381) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180677)

This is just a ploy by a desperate PM way behind in the polls and facing a wipeout in the upcoming federal election. She's trying to gain some mileage by playing on the fears of Australians, who are suspicious of imported temporary workers. It doesn't matter whether there is a skill shortage or not, the public doesn't actually get the real facts...

Re:Just a desperate PM (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180895)

The same PM driving (successful) astro-turf campaigns for voters to get enraged over the 'cost' of independent and parent funded schools costing between $500 and $3000 of tax payer money per pupil per year when they should all be forced to go to government school which cost the tax payer about $12000 per pupil per year.

Election at any cost, screw Australia. Reality and what's even good or necessary for this country to 'move forward' are irrelevant to this woman who's twice got into the role via a backdoor.

Re:Just a desperate PM (2)

six025 (714064) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180943)

Election at any cost, screw Australia. Reality and what's even good or necessary for this country to 'move forward' are irrelevant to this woman who's twice got into the role via a backdoor.

Absolutely! Because the alternative in our 2-party system - Mr. Tony Abbott, the budgie smuggler - is going to be a clear improvement for all Australians.

[/sarcasm]

Re:Just a desperate PM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181101)

Yes the Liberal party will be better for the country - it is not one single man pulling all the strings. So what if the man wears speedos (swimming trunks etc. for non AU friends)? In a country that has a massive problem with overweight and obese people I respect the man for being fit and doing triathlons, Howard as well for his infamous power walks. What has Julia got? A wide bum that stretches those pants of hers as much as she stretches the truth. "There will be no carbon tax under the government I lead" != TRUE

Re:Just a desperate PM (1)

sincewhen (640526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181717)

Probably showing my political bias here, but I don't see how the current government is ruining the country - luckily they are fairly ineffectual so while they seem to be doing plenty of stupid things, the results are all fairly minor and inconsequential. So I would rate them as "tolerable".

My concern is that if the opposition gets in they will try to "fix" everything and cause all sorts of problems. And I worry that MrRabbit will allow his decisions to be heavily affected by what he thinks the imaginary man in the sky wants him to do (like he apparently did when he was health minister re mifepristone).

At least the current PM is a declared (if not ardent) atheist. Which takes some balls to admit if you are a politician.

Re:Just a desperate PM (3)

bug1 (96678) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181113)

Election at any cost, screw Australia. Reality and what's even good or necessary for this country to 'move forward' are irrelevant to this woman who's twice got into the role via a backdoor.

Whats good for this country is implkementing the Goonski recommendations, something this PM is committed to.

Twice go in through the back door... its called politics mate, she was pushed to the top by her peers, and she deserves to be there, best PM since Hawk.

Re:Just a desperate PM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181393)

History will not rate her. How you can even remotely put here up there with anyone is beyond me, and even most labor voters.

Anyway, the 'Gonski' report (I've actually read it in full so have the benefit of being able to spell it) would significantly increase the cost of independent schooling to the tax payer. As things stand given our treasurers rock solid budget surplus guarantees*, the country just can't do it. My son gets just under 500 bucks funding and given the 105k I paid in tax last year, I'd love to see that rise to 2000 to 2500 as Gonski suggests. But the cash just isn't there.

* not guaranteed

* not guaranteed

Re: Just a desperate PM (4, Insightful)

Andrew Kennedy (2866469) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181019)

The "real facts" are that both sides do this.

Re:Just a desperate PM (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181027)

Yes, we are all much better off if the corporations can import a cheaper workforce. It's trickle-down economics! We will all get richer if we abolish the protectionist policies that secure our jobs, because they're just another sort of socialism standing in the way of the rising tide.

Re:Just a desperate PM (4, Informative)

bug1 (96678) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181073)

This is just a ploy by a desperate PM ...

Oh lovely, its blame Julia time again, do you have a spare pitchfork and ditch the witch badge ?

the public doesn't actually get the real facts...

Many in academic circles have stated that there is a clear media bias against the government. I guess its Julias fault people watch MSM too ?

Re:Just a desperate PM (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181137)

Yes there is universal hate for Gillard - why should the media be excluded? Gillard is obviously not a witch... witches have special abilities... Gillard has nothing.

Re:Just a desperate PM (1)

sincewhen (640526) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181735)

there is a clear media bias against the government

They must be doing something right then...

Re:Just a desperate PM (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181161)

yeah.. the big companies will still manage to import whoever they want for whatever they want. they got an entire department of people sorting out the arrangements to make it happen.

but smaller companies get hurt by the restrictions. say a game company would like to hire an european or indian dude? for a company of under 10 people it's hard.

same thing for canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180687)

same thing for canada

Import the workers or offshore the jobs... (3, Insightful)

OffTheWallSoccer (1699154) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180691)

Whether or not there is a shortage of native IT workers in Australia, companies could potentially switch to off shoring the jobs if the government prevents importing of workers.

Re:Import the workers or offshore the jobs... (4, Interesting)

twisteddk (201366) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180795)

Yes, or.... Which has been the debate over here, the hired labor costs maybe underbidding the local labor costs. Thus displacing local talent because of the cost. Most businesses doesn't run on philanthropy after all, which makes it a legislation issue to protect local jobs (albeit fighting globalization would seem futile)

We've had examples of companies (well at least one that got some press) where they show one contract to immigration services that shows the foreign IT hires as getting at least minimum wages. but the local hires also had another contract stating how much they would ACTUALLY get and that they'd be fired or fined if they did not lie about their salary to immigrations.

I was appalled, and quit the company shortly after. I continue to be amazed at the lengths people will go to turn a profit.Professional businesses should be able to see the huge impact illegal or immoral activities can have on their sales, brand or reputation in the market.and no secret is safe enough that it will never become public knowledge.

Re:Import the workers or offshore the jobs... (1)

SourceFrog (627014) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180935)

You should report that company, I'm all for immigration but that kind of deceitful fraudulent crap helps nobody.

Re:Import the workers or offshore the jobs... (5, Interesting)

Electricity Likes Me (1098643) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180835)

Where it's possible they already off-shore jobs. If it could be off-shored to India they'll do it.

The jobs which are here are the ones they can't move overseas, or, more usually, where they know the local talent is good and are trying to war the price down with imported labor that isn't actually as productive - which is exactly the same problem as in the US with H1Bs.

More importantly, the ability to import cheap foreign labor means a lot of businesses which should be employing graduates or running apprenticeship programs aren't. Which means allowing it to continue unchecked means Australia winds up being no more valuable then cheap foreign labor in the first place, which takes away the only thing we have going for us.

Re:Import the workers or offshore the jobs... (3, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180869)

Companies could potentially switch to off shoring the jobs whether the government does everything, nothing, or any point in between.

The only way to prevent that is to make labour and production as cheap, disposable, exploitable and polluting everywhere as it is in the worst country in the world.

Do you want to keep arguing the point, or just shush up now?

Re:Import the workers or offshore the jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181693)

Do you want to keep arguing the point, or just shush up now?

I like italics too!

Or something (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180693)

"Panic set in when studies showed over 70% of youngsters thought Sheilas were filipina IT chicks."

Temporary transfers too (3, Insightful)

Bronster (13157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180699)

Well, this is going to be an extra-large shit for us, where me spending 2 years in Norway at head office was significantly easier than bringing people over here for 6 months at a time for skills exchange. HR tells me that Australia is the hardest country in the world they've tried to give people "bridge the world" temporary transfers to. Insular much?

Re:Temporary transfers too (1)

grainofsand (548591) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181141)

Your HR is wrong.

[citation needed] (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181167)

not that I'm disagreeing with you, but I'd like to see a fact-based discussion.

Re:[citation needed] (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181261)

Google for 457 visa statistics and there are 100,000's of examples of how easy it is.

http://www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/statistical-info/temp-entrants/subclass-457.htm

If it was hard these figures should be a lot lower...

Re:Temporary transfers too (1)

Bronster (13157) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181377)

Not saying it's impossible, just that it's bloody hard.

Shortage is NOT the Problem (4, Informative)

XopherMV (575514) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180765)

The problem is not a shortage of engineers. The problem is that software companies don't want to pay competitive salaries. Were salaries higher, that would attract capable workers into the software field such as engineers or physicists. It would also further increase the number and quality of students studying computer science.

There's a reason interest in software development work peaked in the late 1990s. That was also when salary increases peaked.

Re:Shortage is NOT the Problem (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180833)

Or lower your salary and work harder? If westerners stopped whinning and wirked for 44k a year and stayed past 5:01 then no visas would be required. I was unemployed for nearly 2 years and demanded my 2007 salary. It was inly when I demanded 60% of my prereccesion salary that employers jumped! No one with a bachelors should pull more than 60k a year.

Re:Shortage is NOT the Problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181433)

fuck you and fuck off
I have a bachelors and a decade's experience
I work my ass off for my 100K
People I work with arrive late, leave early, take two hour lunch breaks and do next to nothing and still get paid 100K
The problem Australia has is not a lack of IT workers, it is a lack of good management.

Re:Shortage is NOT the Problem (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181687)

Those programming books, needed to keep current, cost a bundle, last I checked. No one is going to enter a field where you rack your brain all-day doing mind-bending equations, only to be forced to scrimp and save for the latest programming books. And no one is going to invest four years in a college degree that becomes obsolete faster than the latest iPhone. And those books are not even the bare minimum.

Pay your programmers, or do not. But do know that if you pretend to pay your programmers, then they will pretend to work. If the Technology sector falling into shambles in this country isn't enough to convince you of this, nothing will. Enjoy your iPhones, kids, and your financial bailouts. Remember, there's always one born every minute, and it's not like the US has steadily acquired a reputation for burning its partners.

International Competition Vs Cost of Living (3, Insightful)

realxmp (518717) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180841)

I disagree, I think software companies would love to pay a competitive salary, as long as ALL of their competitors are paying it too. Your problem is that your competition is now international, and Australia has a very high cost of living. In the late 1990's the internet hadn't properly taken hold in CEO's brains so your competition for software was still mostly domestic (international companies like Microsoft, IBM, etc were the exception).

Politicians don't seem to get is whilst high tech jobs are the future, they're not subject to the same geographical constraints that low tech jobs like farming are. Why would a company want to pay an Australian developer a high rate of pay when he can pay an Indian developer a lower wage and the Indian guy gets to live in the lap of luxury? Why would a company or consumer want to buy software developed in Australia, when Indian, American or European software can be bought cheaper over the net? (Region locks have plusses and minuses in this case)

The causes of the high cost of living needs to be tackled, but this is probably going to involve low-skilled immigration and they've sealed that exit off.

Re:International Competition Vs Cost of Living (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181707)

Why would a company want to pay an Australian developer a high rate of pay when he can pay an Indian developer a lower wage and the Indian guy gets to live in the lap of luxury? Why would a company or consumer want to buy software developed in Australia, when Indian, American or European software can be bought cheaper over the net? (Region locks have plusses and minuses in this case)

Why? Why not ask the likes of Best Buy in the USA. Best Buy pretty much gutted their work force. In retail, the biggest customers are usually employees. A company like Best Buy fired many of their best customers. After all, guys in IT are more likely to buy electronics. Best Buy laid these guys off and hired Accenture who hired many of these employees. As Accenture employees, they no longer work for Best Buy, they don't get the employee discount and they shop elsewhere. Yes, it's that simple.

The biggest problem with this thinking is that what is actually happening, is that countries like India are actually subsidizing those countries that decide to outsource to them. These companies want to pay developing country wages, but they want to charge developed country prices. Well, if everybody makes the wages you expect to get in a developing county, no one can afford to buy. Even worse, how many Best Buys do you think are in India? How many people in China buy iPads? At least when you hire someone who you pay enough to buy your product, you can get some of that money back. Read about Henry Ford.

Re:Shortage is NOT the Problem (3, Insightful)

dcw3 (649211) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181673)

This depends upon what you call competitive. If your competition is only within your borders, then you have a level playing field. When you go global, you're suddenly competing with people who don't have the same overhead, standards of living, taxes, etc., etc. So, the question for all nations to answer is if they're willing to forsake jobs for their own people, increasing unemployment, though benefiting corporations, by lowering their costs, but also driving down salaries for those still employed within their borders. It's an issue that should be agreed to at a national level.

3 steps immigration complains: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180801)

1) you call for "Globalization"
2) you bomb a random country somewhere in asia
3) you complain you have immigrants

Bloody Immigrant Workers (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180809)

They get everywhere! Did you hear, even some government jobs are taken by them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Gillard

Oh, the irony.

Trade wars (1, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180839)

Expect plenty of this type of protectionist nonsense from every government, distorting the markets, raising prices by removing competition because of varios lobbying efforts and just stupid populist sentiment designed to rally up nationalistic feelings. Trade wars follow currency wars and lead to hot wars. In the interim they lead to higher prices (wage is also a price) thus to higher unemployment and more outsourcing. More unemployment fuels the negative popular sentiment, worsens the economy and feeds this self-perpetuating cycle, which gives politicians more ammunition to destroy freedoms (and this legislature is destroying ppls freedoms) and this brings closer the inevitable conflict. All such measures end up hurting the economy but politicians get more power and preferred lobbying companies get to raise prices in and steal from the market by joining the political power.

Be aware of this, don't fall into a trap believing this is good for you or the economy, it's not. It hurts the economy and thus it hurts you.

Re:Trade wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181013)

Sometimes war is necessary because it helps maintain USA as a first world country. And lets look on the bright side as well it gives me a higher standard of living.

Re:Trade wars (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181081)

Don't worry, Mr Objectivist. This is the one issue where the Left agrees with you. They don't mind governments interfering with markets. But the idea of treating people differently depending on their nationality? Why, that would be unthinkable!

Free market rules! (0)

mike555 (2843511) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180879)

It is unbelievable that a concept of jobs "belonging" to anyone (natives or whomever) still exists in 21st century. Free market rules :)

Re:Free market rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181033)

Free Market is good until someone gets hurt. AKA The very first Capitalist very brutal and used military/soldiers for colonized living. I my be biased but sometimes war is necessary because it helps maintain USA as a first world country. And lets look on the bright side as well it gives me a higher standard of living.

Re:Free market rules! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181055)

The is the past that wars are used for jobs for the natives. Diplomacy and free market is the future and maybe and hopefully it will let global country(one country in the world.).

Re:Free market rules! (2)

moeinvt (851793) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181275)

Are you attempting to elaborate on the reality of the situation, endorsing the policies that have created it or both?

Jobs don't belong to anyone, but a nation is defined by geographical borders and a population which mostly lives inside those borders. The government of that nation SHOULD be enacting policies which represent the best interests of the population. Allowing the nation's borders to be overrun with immigrants is hardly in the best interests of the majority of the population. Forcing domestic businesses to adhere to specific labor standards and environmental practices and then opening the borders to products made in places which have no such standards is not in the best interests of the population either. How about FAIR trade and a labor market with a real supply/demand dynamic?

So more jobs for Aboriginal Australians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180891)

...and not all you other imigrants?

Re:So more jobs for Aboriginal Australians? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43180913)

Aboriginals came to Australia from Africa via Asia. Not from a sky-bosom. Sorry.

Re:So more jobs for Aboriginal Australians? (1)

Willks (1714634) | about a year and a half ago | (#43180939)

Sky bosom?! I want!

Re:So more jobs for Aboriginal Australians? (4, Interesting)

mabhatter654 (561290) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181155)

But they got to Australia BEFORE the pale people did, and you didn't follow THEIR immigration laws, did ya?

Re:So more jobs for Aboriginal Australians? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181201)

Yeah and the aborigines arrived second http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2001/01/01/2813404.htm possible wiping out other inhabitants - but lets all ignore that and the fact that aborigines will not let further DNA testing on the remains even though the oldest fossil remains in Australia DO NOT match current modern day aborigines. http://www.convictcreations.com/aborigines/prehistory.htm

Re:So more jobs for Aboriginal Australians? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181543)

>implying an abbo would know what a job was if he was run over by one.

Abuse is rife (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181017)

Anyone in the IT industry in Oz who has not seen 457 visa abuse, especially by the large system integrators, is simply not paying attention. Bringing in dirt cheap labor who are on-sold to customers at a very high profit margin is rife. Some of these people are good, some are bad. But all are basically being used to reduce IT wages and increase the profit margins of the SI's.

Here's a question: if there is an IT skills shortage, why have IT wages been flat for five years.

And the opposition trying to play this as racism is beyond offensive, given their demonization and wolf-whistling around refugees. I'd like to think Abbott couldn't go lower, but I am pretty sure there are much further depths of depravity and hypocrisy that man and his supporter are capable of.

Plus their fans in News Ltd (aka. News Corp elsewhere).

What happened to the new careers in IT? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181021)

As a teenager, we were encouraged to study engineering and computing. IT jobs were sold to us as genuine careers. So we spent our four plus years at uni only to find that outsourcing is the new black, and all our study is for naught. Thanks.

well CS is not IT so you start out with a skills g (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181273)

well CS is not IT so you start out with a skills gaps.

also tech schools and learn on the job are liked by real IT pros but not are not liked by HR.

The outsourcing firms cheat to make there people look better on paper and when things get messed up they may try to hide it under language barriers or say we foiled your specs to the letter (that works poorly)

Re:What happened to the new careers in IT? (1)

lightknight (213164) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181711)

Indeed. Feels kind of like someone pulling the rug out from underneath you...then you take a look around, and realize that people prefer scams and fraud, inefficient ways of doing things, because it's power, their power, and that's why technology is hated.

My boss.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181035)

Has been here on a 457 until he got his temp. visa. And honestly, he's amazing at his job. One of the best people I have ever worked with. I wouldn't want anyone else. (I'm an Aussie)

Federal Government has its fair share of 457 visas (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181077)

Just tour the IT areas of federal departments (as Gillard has) that don't require a security clearance (and thus citizenship) and plenty of foreign workers are there. When I worked for DEEWR my whole team except for me was Indian. On the national day of India they had morning tea and there were next to no bums on seats - they were all in the kitchen eating cake. Now this isn't a comment aimed at Indians who just want to earn money for themselves and families (nothing wrong with that - I would do the same), but for Gillard to say private companies are abusing the system and ignore how federal government and state government is happy to abuse the visa system and decrease local IT workers wages is disgusting. Given IT doesn't have a union to lean on the government no doubt nothing will be done, unlike construction and other union industries where Labor drop their pants and bend over and take it to make sure they have union members votes. Labor - happy to play the class war card, race war card and any other FUD card to stay in power. Are they going to lose the next election? You bet. Will they salt the earth and leave destruction on the way out? You bet.

More accurately (5, Insightful)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181093)

...despite evidence that there are insufficient numbers of Australians willing to fill the skills gap at slave-wage rates.

Just like the BS about US corporations whining they desperately need more H1B visas, this is about increasing profits by replacing living wage jobs with the modern IT equivalent of indebtured servants; compliant, desperate folks willing to work way too hard for pennies on the pound / dollar. And if they ask for a raise or complain about 60-hour work weeks? DEPORTED.

Re:More accurately (4, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181257)

I was hoping someone would have left this comment, and was not disappointed.

Visa workers are just a way for companies to never pay for training. In the long term, that leads to your workers being unqualified, a lot of turnover, and a lot of unemployment. Congratulations for following us in everything we do, Australia.

There is no IT shortage in Australia. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181157)

There are plenty of IT workers in Australia. I know because im one of them. The companies just don't like paying the wages. They've already offshored all the jobs they can. Now they want to import low paid workers to do the work that can't be sent OS. Even if the PM is being populist that doesn't mean it's not true.

Offshoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181171)

Will she be similarly defensive against the wholesale offshoring of IT jobs FROM Australia to China/India?

How do you stop offshoring? (1)

realxmp (518717) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181683)

Will she be similarly defensive against the wholesale offshoring of IT jobs FROM Australia to China/India?

How do you propose she or any other PM does this? A lot of outsourcing outfits are independent Indian companies which are paid by overseas companies to fulfil a contract. You'd have to stop or make more expensive the Australian companies doing business this way, and aside from the issues this would cause with free trade agreements it would be damn ticklish to define.

I've seen both sides of this (4, Insightful)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181185)

Okay, I've been on both sides of this as I've been to Australia three different times for work (but not with the visa they talk about). When I was brought in I was brought in because they had fewer than 10 people in the entire country that were certified to do what I was doing at the time (there were only a few hundred total worldwide). There well and truly was a shortage of the skills they were looking for and they could not have possibly met that need in country.

Cases like mine are the exception though, and most visas issued for workers to come in and perform IT work are issued to avoid hiring native workers. Someone who is working on a visa is much more likely to be able to be pressed to work additional free hours, won't have costs like retirement and is really easy to get rid of if you don't want them anymore. In short they are viewed as disposable workers that do more at less cost.

There is a relatively easy and balanced fix for these problems (it's a problem when large quantities of natives can't get work and your importing people to work). If you really want to measure if there is actually a shortage of workers for a given field all you have to do is monitor average pay and benefits for native workers. If there is a genuine shortage you will see pay and benefits rise accordingly (market dynamics). When average pay and benefits rise to a certain level you allow for more visas to be issued. This avoids a hard cap while allowing for genuine shortages to be addressed without decimating native workers careers.

I also think you should allow people who come in like this to stay for a limited number of years with a fast track for citizenship. If they don't obtain their citizenship after X years they return home. /Loved Australia

get over it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181265)

this happens everywhere, get over it, you're worth the money you're worth, if you cant get a job at the wage you think you are worth, chances are you arent worth it. I see this all the time with pile of shit programmers who talk the talk but walk like they're tied to a chair. Migrant workers are everywhere, they are just another factor in the job market. You moan about them taking *your* jobs, but there are plenty of Australian (and US) workers overseas therefore, they are leaving space behind them and they're taking jobs elsewhere, where I imagine a bunch of inadequate twats are moaning about them.

They took yer jerbs! (-1)

gatkinso (15975) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181303)

Oh well.

Wrong strategy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181333)

Want more IT workers? Then stop shitting all over them with your attempts to censor the internet and the like.
I'm an Australian IT worker and that's a good part of why I left the country.

Security? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#43181569)

I've always wondered, you hire someone from a foreign country. To work in a secure low cost situation for a contractor of our government. And then complain over "security"? Who trained them, what doors did you open, what accesses did you grant? and you complain when soomething is stolen?
  i'm not "smart" but I ain't born yesterday.

Re: H1B Visa comparison (1)

AllanL5 (814677) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181581)

There's been several studies that demonstrate that IBM has been ignoring local labor (something that's illegal) in preference to H1B Visa holders.

Then paying the H1B employees at the lowest end of the lowest technical scale they can cite. And yes, this does depress wages for local labor.

I can only assume the same things are happening in Australia. However, except for xenophobia, it's a non-starter. The Corporate Powers That Be are trying to get the standards lowered, not raised. America is having a hard enough time maintaining the (often ignored) rules about our H1B hiring practices.

But I wanna... (1)

agnosticanarch (105861) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181593)

Damnit. I was hoping to move to Australia one day, and I'm an IT worker. Maybe New Zealand will still have me.

Sounds like the same problem as the US - freedom (1)

sethstorm (512897) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181633)

In each case, businesses want a captive worker - ideally a slave - and contract workers like this are the means for accomplishing that goal.

How about making it so that nobody legally allowed to work can be forced to a particular work arrangement(e.g. can't be forced to be a contractor unless you really want to be one)?

This kills me. (5, Insightful)

BVis (267028) | about a year and a half ago | (#43181771)

Whenever I hear people whining about a "skills shortage" I call bullshit. There's no "skills shortage", there's a "people who will work for low wages" shortage. If companies wanted to hire domestic workers, they could, they just don't want to. They love it when supply-and-demand benefits them, but when the workers try to do the same thing (salaries go up when the demand for the skills goes up), well, we can't have that, can we. Those executives might have to forgo that second vacation home or have to settle for a BMW instead of a Bentley.

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