Future proofing your job

By Leith van Onselen

On Monday night, ABC Four Corners ran a ripper report entitled “Future Proof”, which examines the future of work in Australia and whether we are preparing our children properly for the future.

The report features a bunch of experts and commentators, some of who believe that up to 40% of current jobs (5 million) could disappear within 15 years as technological change takes hold, although many of these will be replaced by new jobs in areas that we probably haven’t even thought of.

Below are some key extracts from the transcript, beginning with the pessimistic news:

GEOFF THOMPSON: Today almost 12 million of us have a job, but Australia’s Committee for Economic Development predicts that technological change could eliminate five million jobs within the next 15 years. Stephen Martin is CEDA’s chief executive.

STEPHEN MARTIN CHIEF EXECUTIVE, CEDA: What we did was apply an analysis to with all things being equal what will be the likelihood of jobs disappearing in Australia over the next 10 years, and what we found is something like 40 per cent of current jobs as they are structured at the moment is likely, are likely to disappear, but that in regional areas that could be as high as 60 per cent.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Machines have been replacing human workers since the industrial revolution. Since then any routine, repeatable task has been an endangered job. Now automation has broken free of the factory to overtake more complex arenas of human labour. Last year, the introduction of robots at Sydney’s Port Botany cut the number of dock workers in half…

GEOFF THOMPSON: Bank tellers, supermarket check-out staff and airline check-in staff have already been pushed aside by technology. The next wave of automation will be driven by cognitive computers, which learn to solve complex problems by themselves…

Jon Williams is a managing partner with the global consulting giant PwC, which predicts that 44 per cent of current Australian jobs are at risk over the next 20 years.

JON WILLIAMS: So many of today’s jobs will disappear. So there’ll be fewer of today’s jobs, but we believe that there’ll be more of tomorrow’s jobs to replace them. Really what what’s happening is the same thing that happened to blue collar work in the Seventies and Eighties and Nineties is gonna happen to white collar work in the next ten to fifteen years…

GEOFF THOMPSON: The jobs most vulnerable to computerisation include accountants, lawyers and real estate agents. Demand for beauticians, personal trainers, manicurists and intensive care nurses has been booming. The number of baristas in Australia tripled between 2006 and 2011…

CHARLES BRASS, THE FUTURES FOUNDATION: There are all sorts of jobs today I couldn’t have conceived of 40 years ago and in 40 years time there’ll be all sorts of jobs that I can’t conceive of today, that is true. The question though is what sorts of jobs will they be, how many people will have access to them and how will those people be able to survive in the world through the jobs that they’re doing?..

TONY NICHOLSON, BROTHERHOOD OF ST LAURENCE: In years gone by, we have expected young people just to be able to leave school and walk into a job and then find their way in a career path, in this modern economy, ah that’s not the case. So it’s an important point that the transition from school to work has become much more problematic for young people than it has been in decades gone by. In the decade ahead, we’ve got to give much more public policy attention to the issue of ah assisting those young people make the transition successfully.

CHARLES BRASS, THE FUTURES FOUNDATION: We are already at the point where there are not enough jobs for everybody who wants them in Australia. There are, quite apart from the 5.8 per cent who are unemployed, there are a significant number of others who have just given up trying to find a job, they’re discouraged. So we’re already at the state where we haven’t got enough jobs and it seems that it’s increasing.

GEOFF THOMPSON: Futurist Charles Brass argues that if machines keep learning to do our work more cheaply than we can it’s inevitable that there won’t be enough work to go round.

CHARLES BRASS:… I know there are people who say don’t worry about it, the jobs will come, but the debate is done. The evidence is in. What jobs are being created are part time, casual and fragile. There’s not enough money in those jobs to sustain people and there aren’t enough of those jobs for all the people that are falling out the bottom…

GEOFF THOMPSON: A university degree was once seen as a sure pathway to a secure career, but not any more. The full-time employment rate for new graduates is now under 70 per cent, the lowest rate in more than 30 years. Some graduates like Brett Edman have to settle for low-skilled jobs outside the profession they trained for…

The latest unemployment figures confirm a trend that’s been growing for decades. Two-thirds of all new jobs created in the past three years have been part-time. Since 1980 the proportion of part-time jobs has doubled from one in six to almost one in three.

JIM STANFORD, CENTRE FOR FUTURE WORK, AUSTRALIA INSTITUTE: There’s no doubt from the hard numbers that the average quality and security of work in Australia has deteriorated ah over the last few years. Ah we see the growth of ah what you might call precarious work in all kinds of forms. Ah part-time work, temporary work, ah casualisation, what that means is ah not for all Australians but for more of them ah work is eh increasingly insecure, they don’t know when they’re gonna be working, they don’t know if they’ll have enough work, and the average pay and compensation ah of work has declined. So the overall trend is definitely negative…

Others, like KPMG’s Bernard Salt, see less of a problem:

BERNARD SALT, KPMG: Jobs of the past have been replaced by jobs of today, jobs for today will be replaced by jobs of the future…

We have had digital disruption, ah, in social media, in the media, in the taxi industry, we’ve had the globalisation of manufacturing, particularly impacting Australia and yet the evidence is there’s still more people in work. From the year 2000 to 2016 the number of workers in the Australian workforce has increased by three million. The number of people who are unemployed comparing 2000 with 2016 has virtually not changed, so about 6 per cent compared to 5.7 per cent. So the number of workers has increased, the nature of work may well be changed but the kind of work, ah, has, ah, has simply shifted, the middle class is doing other jobs…

There are other jobs that are expanding and these would be jobs in personal services for example or in technology, or in healthcare or in aged care, childcare for example. The nature of work is changing, some jobs are diminishing, other jobs are evolving…

To say that, um, employment should be fulltime I think is quite prescriptive and quite wrong, it simply does not reflect the realities of modern Australia. Ah, th- the fact of the matter is that a lot of female workers, not all, ah, by any means, but a substantial proportion of the female workforce do not want fulltime work. It’s not being imposed by someone from beyond, this is what people actually want from the bottom up.

Personally, I don’t agree with Salt’s benign view. If people were happy with part-time employment, then the underemployment rate would not be tracking near an all-time high:

ScreenHunter_13881 Jul. 06 13.58

And I doubt they would be happy with growth in average weekly earnings near an all-time low:

ScreenHunter_13882 Jul. 06 14.00

As for the solutions, commentators believe that Australia needs to increase investment in education, especially in technology-related STEM fields:

JON WILLIAMS PwC: So we need more people with those pure hard skills in science technology engineering and and maths. The second revolution is in learning how to to learn, learning how to build, learning how to design um because that can be applied throughout someone’s life to solve all sorts of problems as technology change changes.

JAN OWEN CEO, FOUNDATION FOR YOUNG AUSTRALIANS: STEM is going to be part of the future, it’s not the only part of the future. Fifteen-year-olds in Australia today have got um not the levels of digital proficiency, financial literacy, um and then also ability to communicate, present you know, what we call enterprising skills or transferrable skills. If they don’t have those skills, they’re going to find it really hard to navigate a very flexible career that has a whole heap of casual and other work going on in it.

GEOFF THOMPSON: ASMS tries to prepare students for the changing world of work with what it calls challenge-based learning. Traditional subjects like English are not taught on their own. Instead they are mixed together to solve real-life problems. Every class is a collaboration.

GLENYS THOMPSON DEPUTY PRINCIPAL, ASMS: People are going to need to be fabulous communicators. They’re going to be, need to be really great team players. Not only that, they need to have some discipline and knowledge but they need to know how to learn because we don’t know what it is they’re going to need to learn. So when we work with the students we work really closely not only on them gaining the academic knowledge but also on gaining those dispositions and capabilities that are going to set them up to be successful in the future because without that, the students won’t have choices…

JAN OWEN CEO, FOUNDATION FOR YOUNG AUSTRALIANS: We could start working with 12 year olds today, by the time they’ve done six years of high school and they’re 18, we could genuinely have changed their trajectory if we focussed on some of these education changes that need to happen and we could genuinely set them up and then therefore Australia up for a very different future.

The report is well worth a watch if you have the time.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. I watched it and it is definitely worth viewing. As we watched though, we had the feeling that there was some kind of reassurance going on that didn’t quite add up. Particularly the idea that, well, we’ve been here before and undreamt of job types will be created. That idea was repeated in the program. I think they are wrong and we are instead headed into a total S**tstorm of technological unemployment and everything that goes with it.

      • Liked the video. Kind of reminded me of Mr Smith in Matrix movie when it is said in the video that “automation is not necessarily bad, it is inevitable “.
        In the short term though there is a more immediate threat to your job than a robot if you perform any kind of administrative job on the forms of your job being outsourced overseas.
        I work as an ERP systems analyst/programmer/consultant. Was at a client on Tuesday where most of the IT staff and about half the financial admin staff got the sack. Management had decided to outsource their business roles to an Indian company to save a few dollars in the short term. I see this everywhere working at large corporates and now also in the smaller to medium size business. We have to compete with people that charge a third to half the historical consulting rates, but come the time to actually deliver a piece of work (at least in my specialty) they charge for 2 to 10 times the amount of time it would take me to deliver the same piece of work. Needless to say a cheaper hourly rate wins the work and not necessarily the ability to deliver. On the other hand once you build a reputation it is possible to survive even with the outside pressure. Maybe for a few more years until the bots arrive.
        For most who are at risk though the jobs will be gone to India before the bots arrive. The robots will have to fight the Indians for the jobs we lost to them.
        The bright side is that this means that we should be somewhat prepared for the arrival of the bots in Australia.

      • I hear ya, I too have seen outsourcing’s hurdles…

        In order to “mitigate risk” (aka, cover their ass) there is generally at least one level of abstraction between the starving plebs doing the work and the company doing the outsourcing. This middle-man tends to eat into the savings of said outsourcing.

        Then you get into language barriers and cultural divides that further erode the “savings”. For example, I was headed overseas last year so I called my credit card companies to have them put a note on my record not to stop charges from X during Y date range. When I called ANZ Bank’s credit card services, I spoke with a nice lady outside of Bangalore for 15 bloody minutes! Note that “ANZ” stands for “Australia/New Zealand”. I then called ING (a Dutch bank) and spoke with a nice bloke outside of Sydney for 3 minutes. Do you really think management factored in a full 5 times the call length when they pitched the idea to outsource the call center to India?

        Of course, saying all of this… my job is to build the bots that are putting those young workers out of a job! I build websites specifically to “ATM/self checkout” as much work onto the customers as possible. I just finished building a system that used to be a massive manual process of scanning/typing in hard copy printed forms into a web system that got the customer to enter in the lion’s share of the data, with the outside service provider covering the gap leaving very little data entry to the .GOV.

        I’m personally responsible in putting a handful of APS3’s out of work, just for that single job.

  2. There are already too many STEM graduates for the number of jobs available.

    How about we adopt a grander vision, one where the number of jobs reflects the amount of work that actually needs to be done. How about we plan for a future where not having a job doesn’t make you destitute? Where it frees you up to do volunteer work, or develop other skills, or build your own house?

    • Gen Y Home Buyer

      I am a software engineer and I couldn’t disagree more. Aussie tech companies literally can’t find enough workers. There are massive uses of 457 because the roles just can’t be filled locally.

      • Is it that they can’t find enough STEM graduates? Or that they can’t find enough experienced workers?

        These are two very different things. In my experience a lot of STEM graduates are being passed up the opportunities because it’s easier for a company to just higher an already experienced professional on a 457 than it is to hire a graduate and invest time/money in helping them get experience.

        So you’ve got a whole bunch of STEM graduates working retail/hospitality roles, while employers complain there are no experienced professionals in the field to hire.

    • There’s ample STEM jobs, it’s just that no one has the capacity for graduates. There’s a tonne of overheads with employing graduates in a specialized field which is where Does STEM jobs are. A better pathway would be industry engagement with higher education, but when you look at higher education it’s packed full of people who probably shouldn’t be there, but are necessary to maintain the institution’s revenue. I guess the solution is to feed in grads at a post graduate level to get down to manageable numbers, but then you’re putting a five/six year higher education burden on the young folk in order to get them into the workforce at ground level. Imagine the size of the debt they’d graduate with! Methinks I’ll just sit here and stroke my chin for a bit. Hmmm. Hmmmm.

  3. Stephen Morris

    It’s not the machines people need to worry about but the Elite who own and control them. AI and robotics are leading to “refeudalisation”.

    Stripped of its ephemera, human history until the industrial era was a story of aggressively narcissistic, machiavellian psychopaths competing (sometimes collaborating) to attain positions of power, then using that power to dominate and brutalise their fellow human beings. We know from the historical record that such psychopaths felt no remorse in wasting the lives of thousands – even millions – of “their” Subjects.

    If that behaviour seemed to moderate in the Modern Era, it wasn’t because human psychology had evolved. Evolution operates over a much longer time frame.

    All that happened in the Modern Era was a temporary change in the environment: the demands of the industrial economy made it expedient – for a time – for the Rulers to make limited concessions to their Subjects.

    The industrial state required the training of large numbers of Subjects to operate the complex – but not fully automated – machinery of industrial production. Having had so much invested in them, Subjects had value and their bargaining power relative to their Rulers improved. In the extreme, they could withdraw their labour and quickly impose greater costs on the owners of capital than they themselves suffered. Under such conditions, the optimal strategy for Rulers (only after they had tried violent suppression and found it ineffective!) was to make certain limited concession to their Subjects.

    Thus we had the quintessential ideals of the 20th century:

    a) egalitarianism, the ideal that all people are entitled to the same basic opportunities irrespective of their ancestry;

    b) democratisation, the ideal that Subjects are entitled to have some say in how they are governed; and

    c) self-determination, the ideal that self-identifying communities are allowed to choose for themselves how they will govern themselves.

    But these concessions didn’t mean that the psychopaths had gone away. And there was never anything to say that the conditions of industrial production would forever.

    We are now witnessing the Elite’s response to the post-industrial world of AI and robotics.

    No longer are large numbers of Subjects required to run complex – but not fully automated – machinery. Now it is small numbers of very highly trained technicians required to manage the robotic workforce. Small in number, they can easily be bought off. The IT technicians are the Praetorian Guard of the new regime.

    As for the rest of humanity, they are now redundant, or soon will be. Their Rulers no longer need them. The earlier concessions are “inoperative”.

    To be sure, they may get employment of a kind, especially in providing personal services. But it will be employment in the “Uber Economy” of savage competition between workers with all economic rent flowing to the owners of the market platforms.

    And the Elite are responding precisely as one would expect a self-serving Elite to respond. They are relentlessly winding back any concessions hitherto made, while their economic theologians are busy trying to justify it as being for the “Greater Good”.

    Inequality is quickly returning to its historical norm, as Piketty has documented. We are returning to a feudal state in which property is owned by the magnates and everyone else is a defenceless serf.

    Even the critical technicians are transformed into obedient indentured workers through the weapon of crippling student debt.

    As for democratisation, in most countries it never developed beyond “elective” government dominated by Elite parties. Moneyed interests and pressure groups have found it a trivial exercise to subvert it.

    To entrench their gains, they are taking ever more critical decisions out of the hands even of elective government: the privatisation of strategic monopolies and essential services means that elected politicians are forced negotiate with private magnates on terms dictated by the private magnates. The alienation of taxes to private tax farms (think toll roads) is a throwback to the Ferme Generale of the ancien regime.

    And finally, self-determination has been eroded by the growth of opaque and unaccountable supranational organisations (like the EU) and so-called “trade” agreements (which actually have little to do with trade and everything to do with taking decisions out of the hands of national governments and giving them to unaccountable panels of the Elite).

    At some point, the Elite may even decide that the continued existence of masses of redundant human beings is a threat to their own security.

    Already, we have seen the unveiling of lethal weaponised robotic “security guards” with rudimentary AI.

    You don’t need to be Einstein to see how this game will play itself out.

    For most human beings there will be no happy ending.

    • So me suggesting people are going to be plain poor, is actually looking on the bright side then!

    • calm down please!
      If all this AI and robotics does get to a stage where approx 40% of the workforce will be replaced think about that what that means for the unit cost of one of these robots? It will be affordable for all not just the “elites”. When its affordable for “all” no longer will one group of people ie. the elites, be able to quarantine resources to the detriment of the masses ie. All
      Your robot will be able to do most if not all services you require for free!!!! When that is the case exactly how will the Elites have it over me/us ?

      And just one more thing, when the masses can not afford to live as you put it just who will be enriching the elite with their consumption?

      • Stephen Morris

        “When that is the case exactly how will the Elites have it over me/us ?”

        1. Ownership of real property.

        2. Ownership of intellectual property required to legally produce such robots.

        3. Control of the political system which creates property rights (a) and (b), and which enforces them with legal (and soon to be automated) violence.

        . . . . when the masses can not afford to live as you put it just who will be enriching the elite with their consumption?

        This assumes that the consumption-based capitalist system – a system which has existed only since the beginning of the industrial era – will outlive that era.

      • When that is the case exactly how will the Elites have it over me/us ?
        Restrictive licensing. You have seen it in building permits, taxis, and copyright. Just wait to see it in robots.

        And just one more thing, when the masses can not afford to live as you put it just who will be enriching the elite with their consumption?
        Plebs consuming does not enrich elites. Elites are enriched by consuming all the resources themselves and also consuming the plebs in some way, shape or form.

      • Stevo & Claw
        you two blokes are wasted here, you should put all that imagination to good use. Get yourself over to hollywood, I’m sure you two could come up with some futuristic movie scripts.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        If all this AI and robotics does get to a stage where approx 40% of the workforce will be replaced think about that what that means for the unit cost of one of these robots? It will be affordable for all not just the “elites”.

        Why ?

        And just one more thing, when the masses can not afford to live as you put it just who will be enriching the elite with their consumption?

        Why would anyone need to be ?

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        I’m with Travis. I need to see this movie.

        Elysium will give you a taste.

        Manna is also a good short story on the subject, though the idea that Australia will act in the future as depicted in it is laughable. Thirty years ago, maybe.

      • smithy – hahaha – for every Elysium I raise you a Westworld
        perhaps Chicken Little is more to your liking?

    • The people have been permitting a small cadre of elitists, billionaire financiers, corporate chiefs, propagandist media moguls, and crooked politicians to make the choices dictating the path of our country

      I don’t know what the future holds for my country, my family, or the world. I do know our individual choices over the coming decade will matter. I do know we are in a fight for the survival of humanity where good people must prevail or evil will triumph. Victory will require individual and communal courage. The fight will require perseverance, determination, foresight, intelligence, and a willingness to die for the ideas of liberty and freedom.

      Whether you lead or follow, the only way to bring the country back to its founding principles and restoration of the U.S. Constitution is to act with honesty, integrity, and honor. Leading by example rather than words, while setting high moral standards for your actions, will inspire others to do the same. It may not seem so at this moment, but the very survival of our country is at stake. There are no guarantees and believing God will always be on our side is wishful thinking. The glory or ruin of our country will be decided in the next decade and we will have a say in that outcome.


    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      It’s far worse than that. Technology is progressing to the stage where the common man is losing control. Look at algorithm trading : a bug caused one firm lost 500 million in an hour and went bust. The entire system can becomes a ‘black box’ that nobody understands, (quantum computing) : you just assume the answer is correct. The elite will not be immune : CEO and board of directors can be replaced by AI as well. Being on the upper deck of a sinking boat means you survive a little bit longer than those on the lower deck, but you drown nevertheless.
      One example of how human ‘adapts’ to technology, rather than the converse, is demonstrated when you call up for customer support on the phone. Many have voice recognition software which doesn’t work very well, so the caller ends up altering how they speak until the machine can understand them. Similarly, you can’t smile in front of the camera in immigration, because the pattern matching program cannot recognize you if you smile. Robots don’t need holidays nor expensive overseas holiday. As the trend continues, human will only exists because the machine that is built needs someone to consume their product.

    • Thankfully we still have universal suffrage and compulsory voting. When they go, we’ll have our “canary in the coal mine!”

    • I remember reading about a 1900’s movement to ban all further development of machine guns because these cheap small automatic weapons would enable the psychopaths to easily murder ordinary citizens in ratios approaching 100:1. The logic was that if there was more one psychopath per 100 normal people then we’d all end up dead. Alas today we have cheap automatic weapons easily available in many countries yet despite this we have relatively few incidents of average people “going postal”.
      It’ll be no different with Robotics or Automation for that matter.
      I believe In the end analysis that cheap robotics will create a class of techno elites but their era of rule will be very short lived because the task of “programming” will be dumbed down so quickly that even your average high school drop out can create added value by programming a robot to preform some task, worst come to worst they could program their robot to mug other people, but that’s no more likely to happen than those 19th century automatic weapons being used to shoot everyone.

      • Ronin8317MEMBER

        That’s where ‘intellectual patent’ comes in, so no body but the tiny number of elite are allowed to write programs. API is ruled to be copyrighted after all by the US court of appeal.

    • @stephenmorris
      Just wondering if there are any books that may discuss the topics you mention in your post in depth….i find it very interesting

    • Welcome back Stephen Morris, I haven’t seen you post on MB for some time…and what a way to make an entrance!

      I think you’re spot on the mark, though it’s important to point out that when you refer to the Elites, there are the greater and the lesser Elites, and once they’re done preying upon the masses for their own self-edification, they’ll start to turn on each other.

      The massive population growth of the 20th century just guarantees that it will take quite some time to finish the job before it gets to that stage however (though still sooner that we’d like I expect.)

  4. What about universal basic income – UBI.

    Sam Altman sees it as necessary along with the PM of Finland.

    I think Sam probably knows more about technology than Mr Salt and Mr Thompson.

    The LNP have been getting 457 visa workers on illegal wages to replace Aussie workers.

    So even if there is a jobs boom in solar panels, the LNP and maybe ALP will still issue far too many work visas.

  5. Will catch up and watch the program. There is another trend of employment that is also significant – the massive expansion in women working in the post WWII era. This has led to a large expansion of the workforce, changing expectations of what is normal employment.

    Much discussion of the future of work is based upon the straw man argument that the past was a happy time when someone finishing school could walk into gainful employment. Try telling that to an 18 year old man in the early 1930s.

  6. “The number of baristas in Australia tripled between 2006 and 2011…”

  7. I agree with all the above comments. But, I am curious to hear the MB crowd’s opinion on how all of this will affect house prices. How much rent will the underemployed serfs be able to afford? Will people still pay a premium to live close to jobs, when they don’t have a job anyway?

  8. To give finance workers and lawyers their due, they have been acting like robots in the workplace for some time now. And the algorithm lawyer would still be charged out at $400 an hour.

  9. Not everyone can do STEM. Or be ‘fabulous communicators’. There’s already a surplus of people who cant do any economically viable work – just visit any welfare suburb.

    This article is actually about basic income (not about Brexit):

    Going forward, more and more people wont have to work. The only full time jobs will go to those really smart, or those willing to do shitty or dangerous jobs. No idea how we will get there from where we are today.

  10. It’s off topic, but I was just listening to Fran Kelly, and her two think tank guests, pontificate (quite patronisingly) the rise of protectionist thinking. They also discussed how best to bring people like me back into the pro globalisation camp. The consensus was pretty much moving towards better political leadership. As if the problem is one of better communication!! They really don’t get how fundamentally broken the global economy is, do they? I’m just a cleaner and i can see that the global economy is broken, how are these highly paid professionals so clueless?! Fran should be given a subscription to MB, for the good of the ABC and my sanity.

  11. Toil and Trouble

    The more I watched the more frustrated I got. What good came from having big advisory on there? There didn’t seem to be any major predictions beyond the ones we already talk about. Maybe I was just expecting to much from the futurists.

  12. maybe it’s a question of what humans actually need to survive. When everything is financialised it makes sense to replace us all with robots. But if we remove that premise and replace it with we need food, shelter, peace, family, freedom, community, health and a bit of spirituality, we might have a chance. Money is an intermediary, not the stuff of life.

  13. TailorTrashMEMBER

    Watched that program ……yes well worth it ………..but what struck me was the number of ” experts ” from obscure organisations with strange sounding names and all with the title of CEO …………sounded to me like there are a lot of bullshit jobs and bullshit CEO,s about already and that might be the way of the future ………none of them sounded particularly impressive despite their grand sounding organisations and the big titles and one wonders who funds their grand organisations and their no doubt fat salaries

  14. The rise of the bullshit jobs.

    Suck it up young people, you have to compete against 750 million youngsters for peasant wages thanks to globalisation. Good luck trying to afford the lives your parents and grandparents got to live, heaven knows those that came before you aren’t going to give it up while they’re still alive. You wouldn’t either if you were them.

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, financial capitalism has priced the country out of STEM entirely. There’s no point training kids in STEM when there’s no STEM industry for them to go into later and no ability to build one due to the insane operational costs caused by choosing to side with the FIRE sector over the STEM sector for the last 30 years.

    We train them up, they leave if they have any sense, going to a nation that actually provides opportunities. We’ll just keep importing tech to consume in our overpriced and shit-quality houses until our CAD cripples us.

    I’ll have a regular flat-white thanks.

    • While you’re probably right it doesn’t need to be this way. Australia wastes enormous sums ($80B on submarines) if we can pick an industry where we have a natural advantage I’m convinced we can still leverage that advantage and turn it into a world beating industry. Sure there’s a shortage of technical skills (in the labor pool) and a shortage of technical jobs and a shortage of affordable houses for the few that would risk career security to create a technical dream. It’s all true but it’s all fixable, unfortunately Australia lacks the will to fix this problem and I suspect that’s not fixable.

  15. How old are those kids? Why are they thinking about jobs? They should be exploring and finding out what their interests are. If education starts (or goes further toward) developing workers that’ll kill the ‘innovation agenda ‘

  16. In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.
    Eric Hoffer

  17. It was a pathetic show. Surely we have enough facts that the ABC could actually run a proper investigative reporting piece on the migrant visa rackets and the impact to our youth on education, housing, jobs and our future society.
    Or is the ABC now so anti Australian and anti white it has forgotten who pays for it and who it represents ?

    We have enough jobs. We have enough adequate housing.
    We just have a blatantly overshoot of criminally imported migrant guestworker useless.

    The migrant guestworkers are being sent here as misfit, unskilled, slum clearance by China, India and other third world countries.
    We are almost the last country left in the OCED they can now get into. (NZ being a staging area).

    The striking and common characteristic of the Asian or the Indian that comes in now is just how shockingly unskilled and useless they are. As the NZ treasury (NZ being a staging area) also said.

    And how little contribution they make, and how they are all out to steal, take, thieve.
    They are sent here ‘dear reader’ because they are too useless to survive in their own country.
    Not because they have skills, money, talent or some value.
    They are sent here as a carefully filtered export to us, because they definitely haven’t got any of that.

    And the global migrant guestworker trading market is now relentless and quickly moves to exploit any country stupid enough to grant 4 year working visas for 8 year old level 15 hour a week ‘pretend English courses’, with no police check and where vice work is an allowed and globally advertised feature of the visa program or where your fellow Indians run the staff hiring, payment and labour sourcing rackets.

    When they are sent here to work, illegally, they are in debt and they work to repay back their procurement rackets and send back remittances.

    Their bonus is to get the PR, to get the welfare, medicare, benefits, and for their host country to shift this slum clearance, their old, useless, misfit and their family burden onto Australia. Colonize and infiltrate, weaken the western powers with your useless misfit slum and rural poor.

    And its easy. A big warm welcoming pathway of easy money, easy work, easy access, don’t have to assimilate or your full Indian or Asian racist hatred and antipathy to the west can be on full display.

    Its big business. It actually Australia’s biggest business.
    Its a $105 billion underground industry. $7 billion comes in. $36 billion goes out. another $81 billion goes around and around inside the vast migrant slums subletting, fake schools, vice drugs and crime.

    1 in 10 living here is now temporary migrant guestworker.
    1 in 5 is a migrant working illegally, not paying tax or any contribution to their social and infrastructure impact.

    And where is our Government on all this ?
    The ex head of Australia Border Force Investigations says ABF is now totally corrupted.
    He says that the ABF is colluding with foreign criminal rackets on temporary visa fraud on a vast scale.
    That’s what the Royal Commission needs to be about.

  18. My daughter starts at the new Anzac park school in Cammeray next year. We went to the open day, it really is a very impressive set up, and their primary learning focus (other than the basics) is STEM, so it seems NSW at least is well aware of what children need to learn.