Ludicrous Jericho, absurd Cannon-Brookes warn on jobs market

From the Jericho Sell-out today:

But all is now good? Are we back to where we were when things were booming?

Not by a long shot. Our economy has massively changed since then, and that includes who works and what type of work is done.

Over the past decade, the growth in employment among prime-aged workers has been very much women-based, and very much in part-time work:

Consider that in August 2008, 88.4% of prime-aged men were employed – now it is just 86.7%; whereas back then 72.4% of women aged 25-54 were working, now it is 74.2%.

In effect, since August 2008 the rate of prime-aged men working has fallen by 1.7% points, while it has risen by the same amount for women:

The reason is because of the changing economy.

Over the past 10 years, five of the eight industries with the biggest employment growth have been in industries such as healthcare, accommodation and food services, and education, which have an above-average level of women employed and a below-average level of full-time employment:

But there has also been big differences in age of the workforce.

A good, quick guide for judging how well the economy is doing is looking at the employment rates of younger workers. They are always the first retrenched in slow periods and the last to be re-hired when the going gets good.

Since early 2008, the rates of 15 to 24-year-olds employed has fallen from a high of 65.1% to the current level of 59%:

By contrast, since the GFC, older workers have been staying in work longer than in the past – both overall and in full-time employment – possibly as a result of concerns about the ability to afford to retire, as well as a long-term trend of older workers remaining in work as the baby boomer generation has neared retirement age.

The past 10 years have seen great changes in our economy. While as many people aged 25 to 54 work now as did then, fewer men do, and much fewer men work full-time. The decade has also seen jobs for younger workers disappear and not return, while older workers have stayed in the workforce longer than in the past.

It’s a combination that makes for low wages growth and a lot of spare capacity as workers seek more hours in industries that are historically lower-paid.

Excellent work. We totally agree. So why on earth would you want to pile the rolling supply shock of mass immigration on top of this structurally weak labour market? Because to not do so is racist! Formerly from Jericho:

Immigration – because there are many desperate to hate – must be treated with extreme care by politicians and journalists, and certainly with more care than Abbott seems capable. The inherently racist parties will seek to use any discussion and any seeming evidence of the negative impact of migrants as fuel to burn their fires of hate.

You’ve jumped the shark, mate. Get back on the correct side of things.

Meanwhile, Atlassian boss Mike Cannon-Brooks is even more absurd:

Atlassian boss Mike Cannon-Brookes has warned of massive economic and social pain to come if Australia does not face challenges posed by automation and technological disruption, declaring ‘this is not science fiction’.

Mr Cannon-Brookes addressed a senate committee on the future of work in Melbourne Tuesday morning, putting his case that the country’s visa system was broken and declaring that planning is needed now to maintain Australia’s economic prosperity. He said uncertainty around 457 visas has directly hurt his company’s ability to hire, and Australia’s success in the future will rely on its ability to attract the world’s best tech talent.

Massive robot job destruction…pause…boost migrant labour supply…

Say what?

Comments

  1. Stephen Morris

    The transition from industrial economy to post-industrial services economy has been accompanied by a reversal of citizen/workers’ bargaining power.

    Taking an historical perspective, the Modern Era of the past 150 years was an economic, social and political aberration. See:

    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2018/03/links-9-march-2018/#comment-3064575

    We are in real danger of entirely losing the Modern Era and its ideals of:

    a) egalitarianism;

    b) democratic accountability;

    c) national self-determination and subsidiarity;

    d) widespread home and land ownership;

    e) public ownership of strategic monopolies, essential services and critical databases; and

    f) equal opportunity of education and access to elite professions.

    Anyone who values these ideals should be fighting for Democracy, genuine Democracy.

    Without Democracy the Future will be the Past. We are being refeudalised, and the window of opportunity to prevent it is closing rapidly.

    • What about in Switzerland, where the plebs hold referendums against the wishes of the elite. Recently outlawing golden parachutes for executives.

      • Stephen Morris

        And Taiwan apparently:

        https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/-ddworldtour-notebook-from-taichung_how-taiwan-got-one-of-world-s-best-direct-democracy-laws/43958776?utm_campaign=swi-nl&utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter&utm_content=o

        And one might also mention the western States of the US.

        It is truly bizarre that the supposed “failure” of Democracy in California is routinely cited as some sort of incontrovertible proof that citizens can’t be allowed a direct say in government. Some people may wonder why opponents of democracy should present as evidence a US state which enjoys not only the most prosperous and creative economy in the world today but arguably the most prosperous and creative economy in the history of the world!

        California, along with the other directly democratic states of the western US, is a magnet for the brightest people in the world. These are the people of the future who are literally changing the world we live in. And they choose direct democracy as their form of government at the State level.

        If that’s “failure” perhaps we need more of it!

      • Im actually quite in favor of lead boots instead of golden parachutes. Lead boots and water… loooooots of water, an ocean of water!

      • Stephen Morris

        I’m obviously out of touch. I know of Bruno Kaufmann but I had given up reading swissinfo and missed out on his world tour.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        What about in Switzerland, where the plebs hold referendums against the wishes of the elite.

        Switzerland is 25% foreign-born. Surely that means they don’t have any good ideas ?


      • Switzerland is 25% foreign-born. Surely that means they don’t have any good ideas ?

        28% foreign born is obviously the threshold at which good ideas cease. Any lower and they proliferate.

      • Interestingly Switzerland had a referendum on UBI not so long ago. It didn’t get up, and one of the main reasons posited by the No vote was that it would make the country a magnet for immigrants.

        Switzerland has a very high migration rate at the moment. I don’t know what the public mood is like on that front, though.

      • Stephen Morris

        “Switzerland is 25% foreign-born.”

        A word of caution. That 25% are almost entirely non-citizens and for the most part do not vote in referendums. Swiss citizenship is notoriously difficult to obtain. Swiss-born children of non-Swiss permanent residents do not qualify for citizens. (Even Swiss-born grandchildren of Swiss-born children only recently obtained citizenship rights.)

        https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/becoming-a-citizen/29288376

        This is an increasing problem worldwide. With the Elite promoting “open borders”, who exactly will qualify for citizenship and the voting franchise?

        One possibility is a re-introduction of the “property qualification” which would have the added effect of disenfranchising many of the “bogans” and “deplorables” (who – as we know – “are not even university educated”(!)).

        Another option attractive to the Elite would be the outright purchase of citizenship so that the Elite themselves can buy the vote wherever they move, whilst ensuring that “inferior people” (i.e. those who are not rich) can’t interfere with the important business of government by voting for the “wrong” candidates.

      • 28% foreign born is obviously the threshold at which good ideas cease. Any lower and they proliferate.

        Possibly. The other day he said Australia was fine in 2008 when it was still 25% foreign born.

        But then Norway seems to be the maximum allowed at 11% !

        Arbitrary standards just get so confusing. 🙁

  2. There are quality reports from McKinsey and Oxford and many others too on AI in the workforce and in a simple service economy like Australia the threat is much much lower than industrialized economies, such as Thailand and Korea. It is stupefying that a geek can make such idiotic statements to policymakers. A country run by Treasurer who makes it up for the Budget and takes narrow unsupported views from a lonely trophy IT success is a disaster.

    • Stephen Morris

      Both McKinsey and Oxford are institutionally restricted in their ability to “think outside the square”. It is better for them to be wrong for the right reasons (i.e. conventional) than to be wrong for the right reasons.

      The impact of AI/robotics in services may be much greater than these “experts” are prepared to acknowledge out loud. Look at the way in which robotics is being used in Japanese aged care.

      More important is the need to understand the way in which new technology takes time to permeate the economy. There is an excellent article from the BBC explaining why it takes time for new technology to be absorbed into the economy. It will come but it won’t come overnight because of the need to re-imagine and re-organise ways of doing things.

      Most important of all, it doens’t really matter how fast AI/robotics is absorbed. The real damage has already been done. As explained in the previous links it is the transition from an industrial economy to a post industrial services which has destroyed the bargaining power of worker/citizens.

      That is why the Elite can promote pointless high immigration . . . .and there is almost nothing the serfs can do about it!

      • Daniel Susskind, Oxford, (co-authored The Future of the Professions (gloomy) with his father, Patrick Susskind) is far from sanguine in regard to technological future and human employment.

        “In the past 15 years a `task-based’ literature has emerged, exploring the consequences of technological change on the labour market. This literature supports an optimistic view about the threat of automation. In this paper I build a task-based model based on different reasoning about how machines operate. A new process of `task encroachment’ leads to a far more pessimistic account of the prospects for labour. In a static model, increasingly capable machines drive down relative wages and the labour share of income and force labour to specialise in a shrinking set of tasks. In a dynamic version of the model, labour is driven out the economy at an endogenously determined rate, forced to specialise in a shrinking set of types of tasks, and wages steadily decline to zero. In the limit, labour is fully immiserated and `technological unemployment’ follows.

        His working papers are worth reading.

      • The speed and impact of technology is slower than the pundits in the IT/telecoms industry propose because nothing succeeds like FUD in order to have people listen to the message. A good example is the CEDA 2015 hysteria which on closer examination was absurd: it would have led to a Depression ere unemployment but also a huge collapse in income tax receipts which no govt would accept. It’s timing and distribution of disruption was good PR, but sloppy analysis.

        The counter notion that McKinsey and Oxford et al are not able to think outside accepted norms is not plausible nor does it carry any weight when looking at the data, industrial profile, forecasts etc of the reports those and other institutions have published.

        As noted above Susskind’s work is instructive and his calculations and the evolution of his thinking on these topics is more cogent than much of the stuff put out in this area.

      • Stephen Morris

        “The counter notion that McKinsey and Oxford et al are not able to think outside accepted norms is not plausible”

        I think we inhabit different sized squares!!

        I shouldn’t be so hard on Oxford, but having observed McKinsey over the decades, I have observed them to be truly, truly, mind-numbingly conventional.

  3. HadronCollision

    F$ck where are the half-brains on Senate Estimates who shoulda coulda woulda ripped that incongruent logic apart

  4. recent 457 visa changes are hurting Australia’s tech industry

    What frigging changes? The psychopath can still import 457 visa staff on $10/hour.

    He complains about “horse trainer” being on the occupation list but not “IT manager”. Maybe, uh, abolish the occupation list and have a simple $25k/year income tax on each work visa?

    Then you could abolish all red tape around work visas and bring in 1st world passport holders at the drop of a hat – provided they pay $25k income tax upon landing at an Aussie airport.

    Norway home to 1 in 10 fast-growing tech firms

    4 Norwegian tech startups ready to take on the world

    http://www.wired.co.uk/article/norway-tech-startups-global-potential-viva-labs-meshcraft-socius-nlink

    • Kormanator_T800

      Atlassian’s business model relies on importing cheap foreign workers on 457 visas.

      Currently they like Vietnamese programmers who will work for very little.

      They have no interest in training locals to do the job, or employing local coders who cost more and have a high HECS debt to pay off.

      • That’s exactly right. There is a polite fiction that these skills are held only by especially rare and gifted individuals. Rubbish. Programming is easy and getting easier. He just wants cheap labour and doesn’t want to train. He’s no better than Don Meij.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        They have no interest in training locals to do the job, or employing local coders who cost more and have a high HECS debt to pay off.

        This is pretty much the complete opposite of reality.

        Are you a Libertarian ?

    • Maybe $10 an hour is too much.

      He’s now trying to blackmail the government, from the SMH:

      Atlassian may leave Australia

      Tech billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes says government policies are hurting his industry, and holding us all back.

      Dutton will give Atlassian an exemption from the 457 visa changes.

  5. Cannon-Brookes has being saying his company needs higher immigration to grow profitably since at least 2011 – it’s become an unthinking reflex for him,
    Note that his warnings of impeding doom for Atlassian don’t seem to have transpired thus far.

    His robot warning shouldn’t be given any more credence than the migration warning until it can be shown he says stuff for reasons other than promoting Atlassian’s interests, however he sees them.

    • Cannon-Brookes obviously has a strategy that works to deal with his cognitive dissonance.

    • He must have a pretty serious retention problem, adult nappies may offer more help then 457 visa holders

  6. a billionaire like Mike Cannon-Brookes with more class and less arrogance would have said: Australia’s success in the future will rely on its ability to educate and train the world’s best tech talent.

  7. ” He said uncertainty around 457 visas has directly hurt his company’s ability to hire, and Australia’s success in the future will rely on its ability to attract the world’s best tech talent.”

    Completely understand. Some niches of IT really do need migrants, as we’re not getting enough talent locally.

    • Kormanator_T800

      In the old days, your company would train you to do the job, let you grow and improve your skills.

      Now they just say “can’t find a local with the exact qualifications willing to work for $10 an hour – we need a 457”.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        How do you train someone to have decades of experience ?

        How do you train someone without anyone local SMEs to start with ?

      • Why do you need decades of experience?
        Even Peter Norvig accepts you can master computer programming in around 10 years (including time spent at uni) , and a company founded more than 15 years ago should have a sizeable group of people amongst its employees with greater than 10 years of experience at their core function barring a retention problem, especially if they’ve been hiring at least some people with post graduation experience along the way, as is implied by Cannon-Brookes’ comments over the years.

      • Why are you such an apologist for Atlassin Smithy? Smells fishy. There isn’t much this country can’t do if we want to, I don’t see why we need to import bloody computer nerds. Jesus, even I learned C as a hobby and had code included into debians installer. It ain’t rocket science.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Why do you need decades of experience?

        It makes you a more productive and valuable employee ?

        Whatever you may personally think about the value of “experience”, it’s hard to disagree that in pretty much every profession (with the possible exception of prostitutes and models), more of it is generally considered better, all else being equal.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Why are you such an apologist for Atlassin Smithy?

        I’m not sure how injecting a bit of balance and factual information is “apologising”, but whatever. Moderate viewpoints are becoming increasingly unpopular here.

        On a personal level, As I’ve said before, I went to school with Scott F’s wife, and several of my mates worked for Atlassian in the early years.

        However, that aside, from where I’m standing they’re doing far more good than bad.
        * They run internships and actively recruit from Australian Universities.
        * They’re sinking significant funds and mindshare into trying to start up a local technology industry.
        * They shut down foreign development shops and moved those jobs back to Australia.
        * By all reports, the skilled immigrants they do hire are actually going into specialised, high-skill, high-paid jobs that have not been filled after searching local talent. Is that not the whole point of a skilled immigration program ?
        * They could easily pack up shop and move everything overseas but they don’t.

        There isn’t much this country can’t do if we want to, I don’t see why we need to import bloody computer nerds. Jesus, even I learned C as a hobby and had code included into debians installer. It ain’t rocket science.

        Of course. That’s why we’re acknowledged world leaders in most industries, right ? Because we’ve got nothing to learn from the rest of the world and that computer stuff is easy.

        FFS. Is it really that hard for people to grasp there’s more then just entry level jobs in a company, and some of them can’t be filled locally ? Has nobody here other than the minebot worked in a large multinational, or even more outrageously, in another country ?

      • Atlassians global headcount is 3000, increasing by about 300 each year. Australia’s skilled migration program is 190k. There’s no conflict between making sizeable cuts to the migration program and Atlassian being able to hire the migrants it needs, especially if the skills tests are more are properly administered so that the quota isn’t used up on 7/11 attendants.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Atlassians global headcount is 3000, increasing by about 300 each year. Australia’s skilled migration program is 190k. There’s no conflict between making sizeable cuts to the migration program and Atlassian being able to hire the migrants it needs, especially if the skills tests are more are properly administered so that the quota isn’t used up on 7/11 attendants.

        Er, yes ?

      • So he’s arguing against his own interest – the red tape he bitches about would enable more of the workers he wants to come here, not less, if it was enforced according to its purported purpose. Even the increased cost of a visa is likely to have this effect.

        If he sincerely wants a greater number of genuinely skilled workers to get to Australia, he should argue for stricter enforcement of existing laws, not their removal.

      • My comments are primarily responding to the people implicitly arguing that Atlassian hiring any foreign workers is wrong.

        Cannon-Brooke’s comment (at least the one quoted above, I can’t read the whole article) was that the uncertainty around skilled immigration changes (since it’s currently a political punching bag and consequently subject to arbitrary changes with little to no notice) would make it difficult to hire foreign workers, not anything about numbers. His concern is fairly obviously that the people he wants to hire will make a risk assessment and decide to go somewhere else, not that he won’t be able to make them offers.

        Personally I think that’s a bit chicken-little-ish. But like I said, my replies are aimed at the “no need for foreign workers EVAR” types.

      • Yes – and he’s adding further to that uncertainty. It would be more helpful to draw attention to the ways the system is broken and propose ways to actually fix it, rather than effectively demand window-dressing on top of the government’s window dressing.

        It’s a political punching bag for a reason – MCB is doing nothing to take that reason away, and actually adding to the heat around the issue.

        At the same time, it’s hard not to sympathise with the ‘he shouldn’t hire any foreigners crew’ when he doesn’t argue terribly convincingly why he can’t find 250 people (the number of people on 457s at Atlassian) with 20+ years of ICT experience out of the 180k ICT workers in Australia who have that level of experience. Are working conditions so terrible at Atlassian that if they offered some of those 180k workers, some of whom probably haven’t seen a proper pay rise in a good while, a handy pay bump to move across they’d say no?

      • At the same time, it’s hard not to sympathise with the ‘he shouldn’t hire any foreigners crew’ when he doesn’t argue terribly convincingly why he can’t find 250 people (the number of people on 457s at Atlassian) with 20+ years of ICT experience out of the 180k ICT workers in Australia who have that level of experience. Are working conditions so terrible at Atlassian that if they offered some of those 180k workers, some of whom probably haven’t seen a proper pay rise in a good while, a handy pay bump to move across they’d say no?

        Well, hiring foreigners the way they do it, with full relocation services including all the visa legals, airfares, shipping of household goods, temporary accommodation, etc, is hardly a cheap affair, so it’s difficult to imagine they’re doing it on a lark or that the people so hired are being paid a pittance.


      • Well, hiring foreigners the way they do it, with full relocation services including all the visa legals, airfares, shipping of household goods, temporary accommodation, etc,

        It could easily cost more than $50k in recruiter commission alone to hire a local with greater than 15 years’ experience (source: quotation from IT specialist recruiter sitting on my desk), and given they’re likely to be currently employed you’ll be adding a nice bit extra to their existing salary on top of that – looking at your list I’d say there was still considerable scope to save money by hiring out of SE Asia rather than going local. I seriously doubt they’re less than a couple of tens of thousands in front.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        But they’re hiring out of a lot more places than just SE Asia.

        Ireland, England, various EU countries, the USA. You know, all the low-wage third world places.

    • Lol it does because everyone with a brain saw that IT wasn’t going to pay the bills because of the 457s.

      So they stopped studying it. Most of us left the field.

    • Oh, foo. If someone’s a legit specialist with really rare, difficult to obtain skills and knowledge, they’ll be eligible for the Distinguished Talent visa. Cannon-Brookes can get his world-class stars that way, so he should really quit whingeing about something that ISN’T a real problem, and be honest that he’s concerned this will drive up the cost of employees.

      If the people he’s after aren’t rocket scientists of that calibre, there is no reason they can’t be trained locally.

      In terms of it not being possible to manufacture people with 10, 15, etc. years of experience instantly, thus justifying bringing in 457s, I direct the sceptical to the thousands of IT people who’ve lost their jobs or long term contracts as a result of large orgs bringing in Indian body shops who import droves of Indians to work at cheaper wages. Many of these people have the real tech savvy borne from working on multiple early less-easy-to-use-and-program computer systems that many new “web designer” types lack, and just need a bit of upskilling in the particular variant of modern tech your org uses. Trust me, they’ve seen something like it before, so it’s like going from driving one model of car to another, not like going from driving one model of car to an airplane.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        So you think Atlassian is spending tens of thousands of dollars on relocation each to bring in low-wage code monkeys ?

        While at the same time actively recruiting from Australian Universities ?

        Seems odd.


      • So you think Atlassian is spending tens of thousands of dollars on relocation each to bring in low-wage code monkeys ?

        While at the same time actively recruiting from Australian Universities ?

        Seems odd

        No – someone who sources labour from two low cost sources just seems like someone who doesn’t want pay top dollar for labour, not odd at all.

      • Exactly, Robert. The costs of sourcing this overseas labour are made back in a year or less. If you can get them in at a lower salary than a native who has HECS debt, truly knows the cost of living in Sydney, etc., it’s a win for the company.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        No – someone who sources labour from two low cost sources just seems like someone who doesn’t want pay top dollar for labour, not odd at all.

        So, again, you think they’re paying tens of thousands of dollars to import cheap code monkeys, when they could be hiring those same cheap code monkeys locally without spending the tens of thousands of dollars to import them ?

        Is this a hiring practice you engage in ?

      • I really should NOT have to clarify something so obvious, but…

        > So, again, you think they’re paying tens of thousands of dollars to import cheap code monkeys, when they could be hiring those same cheap code monkeys locally without spending the tens of thousands of dollars to import them ?

        Absolutely, because the math *quickly* works out! It’s a game of fixed and variable cost, and what you get for those costs. Say that hiring a third worlder with average mid-range skills costs $70K with all of the import costs. Say hiring an equivalent or somewhat better skilled local only costs $30K. Now… once you’ve got ’em, you need to get work out of them for a price. Suppose that the third worlder will take $110K and be subservient and overworked lest they lose permission to earn big first world dollars in Australia to send home, and the Aussie wants $140K and respects Australian labor law. In a year, you’re about even. If they stay more than a year or so, you’re ahead with the third worlder, if the third worlder’s productivity is within 30% or so of the Aussie’s.

        > Is this a hiring practice you engage in ?

        It is a hiring practice multiple previously employers of mine have engaged in. I was one of those bargain-basement 457’s at a time, some years ago, and I speak from experience. I took a 50% pay cut and played slave to my manager for a couple years, then qualified for permanent residency which took another year to obtain, and then ziiiinggg!, the Hobbit is outa there and back at some place paying market rates. But I didn’t get those market rates as a 457. And I was definitely hired because I’d work for the rate the org wished to pay, that Australians wouldn’t accept because they knew it wasn’t anywhere near market for a tech worker with that level of skill. I’ve also worked alongside numerous other 457s pushed around and underpaid by employers, both that one and others.

        Further data item: Atlassian was intrigued by me as a 457. There was NO interest in me as a permanent resident. Coincidence, I’m sure, because my skills didn’t degrade year-over-year.

  8. I’ve always wondered why we need to import a deluge of foreign workers because AI and robotics are going to replace most workers. I’m glad we have geniuses like Mr Cannon-Ball and his pal Lord Farquad to explain such seeming inconsistencies to us normal people.

    • Holy cow! There was actually a guy named Farquhard!

      Farquhard Campbell

      died at Edinburgh 18 December 1829, aged 69

      • Reminds me of the time when I suggested to a mate of mine registering for a professional conference in Syderney to register as Gowan Farqouff … Much hilarity ensued when he got called over PA 😀

  9. Mike Cannon-Brookes talks about guys who have knowledge in some extremely specific field (e.g. some exotic type of maths), people who get head hunted all over the world by google, apple and microsoft. It’s almost like if Elon Musk was trying to hire someone for SapceX. There is also my gf who is hired from overseas by one of the leading medical research facilities in Australia. Once employed they get paid way above average for the industry that they get employed in. He talks about people with knowledge and skills that only other few hundreds in the world have. He’s not talking about accountants, service station employees or your basic IT specialist

    • lol! SpaceX is not allowed to hire foreigners! And yet, SpaceX still invented reusable rockets before anyone else. So USA does not need to import many 3rd world passport holders at all.

      But Atlassian brings in 457 visa staff from Vietnam. He is also a massive liar – saying “the tech industry did not exist in AUS 10 years ago, before I came along” year in year out!

      His own stale statement violates the laws of maths and time.

      • that’s correct, there are restrictions, replace SpaceX with Tesla. If you are Vietnamese it doesn’t mean you are a backward peasant, I am sure those guys get paid above average Australian market salary in their field for what they do at Atlasssian

    • Much of the audience here prefers the fictions perpetrated by the likes of Jacob than entre to the grown-up world.

    • As I stated in another post, for these “one in a million” types, there is the Distinguished Talent Visa.

      So really, he’s NOT talking about those types, because they can come in under that visa, not the 457, anyway.

      Australia really doesn’t need as many garden variety IT people as it imports. Most are far from spectacular, and are basically the equivalent of locals with a similar amount of experience. It’s just that because many are trying for PR, they’re willing to work for less. (Source: Am one, did the 457-job-at-50%-salary-discount thing in a department full of other 457ers doing likewise, now an Aussie back up at normal salary. Actually do have some unique niche skills, but am not employed to use them right now.)

      • I don’t think C-B is trying to save money there, I think he’s only interested in increasing intellectual competitiveness of his business and that should be encouraged. I agree that trying to get from overseas for less what can be had in Australia should not be permitted.

      • Naw, I know people far in excess of the quality of people I’ve interacted with at Atlassian… people with real gravitas in the industry… who didn’t make the cut, quite possibly because of age. (It’s interesting MCB is now talking about the difficulty of bringing in people over 45 now that he himself is getting older, because previously it and the salary expectations of Aussies in that age bracket with serious experience seemed to be a reason several people I have worked with got rejected there.)

  10. drsmithyMEMBER

    If targeted hiring of high-skill, high-productivity, high-experience, high-wage immigrant workers in modern growth industries don’t qualify as a suitable use of “skilled immigration”, what does ?

    • 25% is not quite 28%.

      Let me know when India becomes the biggest source of immigration into Switzerland.

      Being a corruption-free meritocracy is not about race – look at Singapore. Or even compare Dubai with nations around it. Leave your skin-colour accusations at home.

      You try hard to be a contrarian these days but you make no sense.

      20 years of experience in IT? If it takes 20 years for someone to get up to speed…others are more deserving of an Aussie passport. Vietnam developed awesome software like Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Windows. Corrupt 3rd world schools are so awesome that foreign students do no come here – there is a long line of high-wage Europeans wanting to get into a 3rd world institute because their teaching standards are so awesome.

      Shouldn’t Vietnam be the biggest source of immigration into AUS instead of India?

      The ISRO developed reusable rockets before SpaceX did. And Indian movies collect more revenue at the box office than Hollywood ones. China won more gold medals than Britain at the Rio Olympics and makes bigger jet engines than Britain. Not.

      Boys around the world dream of owning a 3rd world car rather than a Ferrari/Lamborghini/Bugatti.

    • > If targeted hiring of high-skill, high-productivity, high-experience, high-wage immigrant workers in modern growth industries don’t qualify as a suitable use of “skilled immigration”, what does ?

      OK, let’s be clear. It’s common knowledge within the IT industry that 457’s earn less than permanent residents and citizens. Talk to 10 IT people, and at least 8 will be able to tell the story.

      Targeted hiring of high-skill, high-productivity, high-waged immigrant workers is a valid use of the temp worker visa ONLY WHEN:

      1) There aren’t Aussies who can do the work. (This does not mean, “There aren’t Aussies willing to do the work at a bargain basement rate,” but “There aren’t Aussies who can do the work AT ANY PRICE.”)

      2) The wages being paid aren’t just high compared to no-skilled (clerk) and low-skilled (fast-order cook) labor, but actually market or higher rates for the geographical area in which the job is located, FOR THAT TYPE OF JOB.

      And an extremely high percentage of 457s in IT are written for jobs that don’t meet criteria 1 and 2. Most temp worker visas are given out to commodity labour at bargain rates significantly below what similar commodity labour with citizenship or permanent residency would accept for that job. Otherwise, you’d use the Distinguished Talent visa to bring them in.

  11. I agree with Cannon-Brookes that the skills list is flawed. But, the thing that’s suspicious about the skilled migration program is this: First we were told that it had to be ramped up because of the mining boom; then, we were told that it had to be ramped up because of the end of the mining boom.

  12. the robot warnings stopped scaring me a while time ago. job growth is super concentrated at the left end of the occupational bell curve. if you actually look at the numbers, the jobs that are growing the most in real terms are unskilled. sales assistant jobs will grow by about 40k over the next 5 yrs, while mathematician/statisitican jobs by contrast are projected to grow by only 1.5k. where is this job apocalpyse in the real numbers, not just projections based on how automatable certain professions are deemed to be? we’re as much a nation of petrol station attendants and minimum wage workers as we have ever been.

    • Exactly.
      Apart from being an artifact of the hype cycle people of different political persuasions have varying ulterior motives for promoting the idea that the robots are coming but no one has substantial evidence that they actually are.

      Having said that, maths/ stats jobs growth of around 1.5k sounds pretty large over 5 years sounds pretty large compared to the number of existing maths/ stats graduates, which can’t be much greater than 1.5k.

      • They need to do 2 things:

        Invent a weight loss pill with no side effects – then every retiree can be slim.

        And develop stem cell technology that allows doctors to repair muscles and joints – so they can clean their own bodies.

        Alternatively, re-legalise 45L/min shower heads.

  13. Atlassian make good software, but at the end of the day is issue management + some code tools + some chat + a wiki.

    They ‘revolutionised’ BMC Remedy. They’re not SpaceX.

    Don’t they have enough bodies to maintain their codebase? Why do they need so many Vietnamese?

    • Meh … “good” software. That’s debatable – it’s acceptable, satisfactory, but I wouldn’t call it “good”. They’ve reached the peak of their usefulness a couple of years ago. Now, they’re merely changing themes, SSO-ing everything and…. that’s about it. Tinkering around the edges, really.

    • Agreed, Nathan. It’s acceptable software, no better or worse than other similar packages. And a case can be made that some of their software is slower / more resource hoggy than alternatives (Confluence, looking at you). Revolutionary is not how I’d describe their technology. If anything, what was revolutionary about Atlassian was their marketing model.

      The company is built on hype and marketing at least as much as it is on code.

      They do a few niche products highly useful for startups that, like much software in the open source world, are free or very cheap for startups, with pricing scaling upwards logarithmically for larger firms. This gets small companies and departments of larger companies locked in, and gets Atlassian marketshare and public conversation, and then as usage expands within those orgs, Atlassian starts making money. Plus, it’s got those “gig economy” and “ecosystem” things going on of even lower-intermediate-skilled people being able to create plug-ins for it and possibly make some money with the free promotion provided by Atlassian. It’s no accident that one of the better known plugin developers used to develop Visual Basic “controls” (aka UI plugins) for Microsoft VB.

      If you look at what I’ve just described, it’s fairly clear that their success rests less on IT and comp sci geniuses than on people with solid business, vendor relations, customer relations, and market analysis skills.


      • If you look at what I’ve just described, it’s fairly clear that their success rests less on IT and comp sci geniuses than on people with solid business, vendor relations, customer relations, and market analysis skills.

        Okay, NOW I understand why they have to look outside of Australia for the people they need.

        But seriously, isn’t that exactly the same for every profitable software company ever?

      • Nope. Among people in the industry, Atlassian is known for its laughable hype factor. It’s the Tesla Corp of issue-tracking software companies. Compare with: http://www.fogcreek.com/, which also sells issue-tracking software, and spends more time writing software than hyping itself.

  14. I was a top talent working for various Australian telcos. By 24 I was making $100k+. I left Australia because of immigration XD

  15. Birrell calls it

    Most recently recently-arrived skilled migrants not finding professional jobs: new report (https://outline.com/xT7LqK)

    As debate over the nation’s mass migration program grows, the Australian Population Research Institute study said employers would hardly notice if the skilled program was abolished. “The skill program, and its claims to be providing essential skills, is acting as a screen for its real purpose,” said the institute’s Bob Birrell.

    “This is to deliver the continued high population growth Australia’s elites want.”

    Australia’s annual migration program is set at 190,000, including 128,550 skilled places. Between 2011-16, 256,504 migrant graduates aged 25-34 came to Australia, with 84 per cent of them from non-English-speaking-countries, according to previously unpublished census data. Only a quarter of the non-English-speaking-countries group had professional jobs as of 2016, compared with half of English-speaking-background graduates, and 58 per cent of Australian-born graduates.

    The report, Australia’s Skilled Migration Program: Scarce Skills Not Required, said employers could take their pick and those job applicants with good English skills and better “cultural awareness” had an advantage. Dr Birrell said a major problem with the skilled migration program was the winding back and eventual abolition of a requirement that an applicant’s occupation had to be in national shortage.

    “The great majority of those visaed in the skill program are professionals, an increasing share of whom hold occupations that are oversupplied,” he said. “On the other hand, it is delivering a negligible number of construction trade workers despite housing industry claims that continued skilled migration is crucial …”

    Dr Birrell said other anomalies in the skilled program included the right of states to sponsor migrants, but once here they could live wherever they wanted in Australia. “The skill stream could be abolished and employers would hardly notice,” he said.

    “(It) is really about numbers, the ‘Treasury’ numbers needed to sustain Australia’s rate of economic growth and the Commonwealth’s projected tax revenues.” A 2017 survey commissioned by the institute found most Australian voters wanted immigration cut.

  16. MC-B wants 186 ($4K + paperwork + relocation + a market salary) candidates for the price of 457 ($0 + application burden on the migrant + $0 for relocation + will work for food).