Australian minister suspended over accusations of abusing staffer

Opinion: Skills vs. youth vs. education vs. immigration – an Australian micro version of a global macro issue

Former civil servant Rachelle Miller accused Minister for Education and Youth Alan Taj of emotional and physical abuse during their relationship in 2017 – Copyright AFP PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA

If this were a fight, you would call it the Fatal Four: Skills vs. Youth vs. Education vs. Immigration is a standard global scenario in many countries. The usual story is that it is fatal to at least one of the four elements involved. We just had Jobs and Skills Summit, with some positive results, but the main problem remains; our skill base.

This is how a meat grinder works – you don’t have enough trained people with the necessary skills, so you import skilled labor. You either don’t notice or don’t care that your own skill training is costing your younger generation too much. Then, after you’ve completely trashed the skill base you need for your entire economy, you complain about “all those immigrants.”

This is one of Australia’s most annoying and completely unnecessary bugbears that can be avoided. We used to have free education up to higher education. We didn’t have skill issues. Now we have a ridiculously high education and we really have a skill problem. Employers, trade unions, trade unions and education workers have been screaming about this for far too many years.

We have convincingly proved that modern society needs not only lawyers and waiters to work. We do more litigation in Sydney than we do in Los Angeles, a city four times larger. We also have cafes from coast to coast. What we don’t have is properly planned, financially sound, reliable and affordable basic skills training in any form.

What we have is more like a lottery with too few winners. Over the last decade or so, some smart bastards have sabotaged and underfunded our very successful TAFE (Technical and Further Education) colleges. All TAFE is dedicated to learning skills. At the same time, university degree fees went crazy. To add serious injury to the insult, universities simply cannot provide the required scope and range of skills. There just aren’t enough places. (To give some idea of ​​the scale of demand, 180,000 new TAFE locations in development to meet demand.)

Now, even if there were spaces for them, people probably wouldn’t be able to access the skills due to the fees. It’s the perfect storm of pure idiocy. No one capable of doing basic arithmetic should be stupid enough to get into such a situation. We have a relatively small population, so we as a nation can easily afford to pay for skills training.

There is a reason for this. Privatization, the most destructive of all “ideologies”, has significantly undermined the skill base. These charges are murderous, unjustified and absurd. Why should modern education cost much more than pre-digital education? Costs were systematically inflated far beyond the real cost of providing services.

This real madness has a method. Education and training are among Australia’s largest exports. This is really big money. So everyone agrees on this racket that cost the next generation of Australians a fortune. Meanwhile, it compromises and destroys our national skill base.

Sound familiar, world? Unjustified fees are a key visible problem:

  1. Education and training bring much more value than unskilled labor.
  2. Skills provide great opportunities for business, and for governments, much more revenue.

These manic fees, however, are a major deterrent. It is understandable that people are afraid to get into five- or six-figure debt even before they start working. This structuring of the fee is, in fact, the key to your career.

It’s also a recipe for debt default. Many people drop out of school because they can’t handle fees, personal reasons, or other problems. In that sense, call it 5 to 10% enrollments as a purely ballpark figure, fees are a built-in, self-defeating option for everyone involved.

There is a book called Poor Little Rich Country which is a fairly simple but accurate critique of many of the problems that Australians themselves have created. There was no education in it, from memory, but it should have been. This is an absurd situation. No one who has ever graduated from kindergarten should believe that this mess works.

Immigration versus reality

Like most Western countries, Australia does not shine with recognition of the value of immigration. There is also little reason to think that we really understand the migration to Australia.

A few years ago, a woman with 4 children migrated to Australia from Africa. She was given $10,000 and housing. At Sydney prices, she went bankrupt in 2 years, a noble achievement of her to last so long with so little money. However, does it look like we have an idea of ​​the realities of migration?

Australia, like other countries, encourages skilled migration. Sponsored migration of skilled migrants is also common. …And we still lack skills? Skilled migrants can get good, well-paid jobs in Australia, which are actually better than in other Western countries. (For example, our basic working conditions are much better than in the US.) The problem, inevitably, is that the relevant skill sets may or may not be in place, or even not up to speed.

If you hire a skilled migrant, he must have people to work with. These people also need to have a number of skills. This is where our skill base is an absolute mess. Skilled workers make very good money in Australia, but they work hard to keep up with demand and in many cases become seriously overworked.

This very high level of demand naturally drives up the prices of these skills. Notice how the costs to society and the nation always rise under this ridiculous model.

Ironically, and just as inevitably, some of these good jobs are teaching. Thus, there is a time gap between hiring instructors and gaining skills.

The big long-term losers are the youth

Youth is on the wrong end of all these issues. They have to pay huge sums of money to get the skills. They should try to access training. They must be able to survive living expenses.

… And over time, they only get worse. It’s now rather obscenely accepted that Millennials and Generation Z will never own their own homes. This means that most of their income will go to rent rather than capital building. Think for half a second how their children will behave in this environment.

Stopping/starting employment, which is now the norm for these generations, prevents them from taking out mortgages. How do you save for a deposit with occasional income and a very high cost of living? You do not know.

This is not a “user pays” case. This is the case when “the user does not and will not have money.” It’s all based on costs, from the absurd prices of an education that should cost less than a fairly basic phone, to ridiculously high, parasitic, unjustified living expenses.

The best description of the state of the younger generation is “suicide capitalism” or perhaps “mass extinction capitalism”. As an economic model, it is completely self-destructive. It could never work even in theory, it hasn’t worked and won’t work. This setup guarantees a massive shortage of real capital for future generations.

And it is unlikely that this idiocy will benefit the rich. Multi-generational wealth is historically the exception, and it’s all about the cost. As spending rises, real wealth depreciates. A million dollars 20 years ago could buy a lot more than a million dollars today.

Thus, encouraging ever-increasing costs and prices is tantamount to a faster devaluation of wealth. Smart, it’s not.


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The opinions expressed in this review are those of the author. They do not purport to represent the opinions or views of Digital Journal or its contributors.

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