It's the economy, stupid!

 
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
"the things that I've predicted in the past are coming to pass..""

Don, can you possibly remind me what they were, for me and other casual visitors.

I still read here but dont always have a handle on where people are coming from.

Cheers,

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  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Joe, I said that living standards would fall for the majority of Australians particularly once the car industry closed - and indeed, there's a lot of research around suggesting things are getting much tougher for ordinary people (News.com.au);

AUSTRALIANS’ living standards are declining for the first time in a generation.

New Australian National University research for News Corp Australia reveals cost increases have outstripped income gains by 1.4 per cent in the past year and 3.8 per cent since 2013 — a trend not seen since the 1980s.

The slide in living standards is mainly due to the weakest wage growth on record.

There simply isn't the quality or variety of jobs available to unskilled or semi-skilled people that there was ten years ago; the people who support the whole system by leading a hand-to-mouth existence. This has been part of a deliberate campaign of off-shoring industry so all that's left is the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel service industry jobs. And then we have corporate Australia whinging about the fact that nobody is spending money any longer - how can they with the world's most expensive electricity and gas and their wages not rising?

Get ready for homeless camps and shanty-towns in and around our cities, that's probably the next step to our becoming a third world nation.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Retail rents predicted to crash across Australia with the departure of Toys 'R Us and Babies 'R Us from our shopping centres. From Fairfax:

Store closures underway or foreshadowed by Australia’s troubled retailers are equivalent to one and half times the size of Chadstone, the country’s largest shopping mall, new figures show. Against the backdrop of Toys ‘R’ Us and multiple other retailers hitting the wall, Macquarie Bank has compiled a list of companies winding back store commitments that shows landlords face up to 344,000 square metres in vacancy...

...Earlier this month, Solomon Lew’s Premier Investments threatened to pull the company’s brands from shopping centres because of inflated rents and global competitors getting cheaper rates. Premier identified international players H&M, Forever New and Speciality Fashion Group as getting better deals. The group pulled his flagship Portmans store from Melbourne’s Bourke Street mall last year, protesting about excessive rents.

Solomon Lew knows full well that the game is to keep escalating the rents and he can't make money on a closed shop. But who rents the space vacated by the exit of (say) Myer, which recently contemplated bankruptcy to try and get out of some of its shopping centre leases? Not another department store, that's for sure, that business model is finished.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Joe, I said that living standards would fall for the majority of Australians particularly once the car industry closed - and indeed, there's a lot of research around suggesting things are getting much tougher for ordinary people (News.com.au);

AUSTRALIANS’ living standards are declining for the first time in a generation.

New Australian National University research for News Corp Australia reveals cost increases have outstripped income gains by 1.4 per cent in the past year and 3.8 per cent since 2013 — a trend not seen since the 1980s.

The slide in living standards is mainly due to the weakest wage growth on record.

There simply isn't the quality or variety of jobs available to unskilled or semi-skilled people that there was ten years ago; the people who support the whole system by leading a hand-to-mouth existence. This has been part of a deliberate campaign of off-shoring industry so all that's left is the absolute bottom-of-the-barrel service industry jobs. And then we have corporate Australia whinging about the fact that nobody is spending money any longer - how can they with the world's most expensive electricity and gas and their wages not rising?

Get ready for homeless camps and shanty-towns in and around our cities, that's probably the next step to our becoming a third world nation.
don_dunstan
With the irresponsible tax cuts given by the Howard government to buy votes the punters had plenty of spare cash to throw around. But did they do the responsible thing with this spare cash. Not on your sweet Nelly. The punters should have paid down large debts such as mortgages but they actually left such debts in place and purchased consumer goods that only have a relatively short life span.

During that period if you visited Hardley Normal on a weekend you were practically knocked down by the punters buying flat screen TV's. The downside was that the gains from the mining boom were wasted on the largess handed out by Howard. And of course imports sky rocketed.

Now that the mining boom has evaporated the punters have found themselves saddled with huge debt and no pay rises to help cover the debt. And they wonder why they are facing hard times. But you aint seen nothing yet until mortgage interest rates state climbing as they will. It will only take a 2% rise for about 20% of the borrowers unable to pay their home loan. Any further rises will be catastrophic.

I don't want any of this to happen but my heart won't exactly bleed for the formerly rapacious and greedy if it comes to pass. Anybody remember 17% mortgage rates?

Australia will never become a third world country except for those dig who debt holes for themselves. Don you are just seeing the demise of the old smoke stack industries which are fast being replaced by high tech industries which require a highly skilled work force. The path to this future would be helped if the present Luddites running the country are voted out as soon as possible
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Australia will never become a third world country except for those dig who debt holes for themselves. Don you are just seeing the demise of the old smoke stack industries which are fast being replaced by high tech industries which require a highly skilled work force. The path to this future would be helped if the present Luddites running the country are voted out as soon as possible
nswtrains
There is no evidence of any new industries requiring a huge workforce of skilled STEM workers; if anything those areas continue to have the very worst employment outcomes of any degree. And there's plenty of evidence that Australian employers in these new industries won't hire Australians anyway - they prefer their skilled workers cheap and foreign as discussed more here.

Living standards for the majority of Australians will continue to fall because there is no plan to reverse the long term decline in the quality of jobs for the majority - jobs traditionally provided by your 'smokestack' industries. This is added to by the problem of universities churning out graduates who can't possibly find work in their fields - as a general rule around 80% of graduates will not find work relevant to their training. The tertiary education system has become a massive mis-allocation of public resources into something that is actually accelerating our economic demise by not producing a workforce that is in line with the requirements of industry.

I think there's some recognition from both sides of politics about the inevitability of mass-unemployment on a huge scale in Australia - even the new Senator for South Australia Tim Storer has called for unemployment benefits to be raised and the assessment requirements to be eased in order to help the broader economy and stop punishing the unemployed for simply not meeting the requirements of industry. The Henry Tax Review four years also also recommended this (but it was quietly buried) - my feeling is that the government is running out of places to warehouse the unemployed and eventually there will either need to be some kind of Commonwealth job guarantee or minimum income to try and arrest our national slide into poverty.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

The criteria for Being employed is utter BS.
1 hour per week, paid or volunteer work? Give me a break.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Australia will never become a third world country except for those dig who debt holes for themselves. Don you are just seeing the demise of the old smoke stack industries which are fast being replaced by high tech industries which require a highly skilled work force. The path to this future would be helped if the present Luddites running the country are voted out as soon as possible
There is no evidence of any new industries requiring a huge workforce of skilled STEM workers; if anything those areas continue to have the very worst employment outcomes of any degree. And there's plenty of evidence that Australian employers in these new industries won't hire Australians anyway - they prefer their skilled workers cheap and foreign as discussed more here.

Living standards for the majority of Australians will continue to fall because there is no plan to reverse the long term decline in the quality of jobs for the majority - jobs traditionally provided by your 'smokestack' industries. This is added to by the problem of universities churning out graduates who can't possibly find work in their fields - as a general rule around 80% of graduates will not find work relevant to their training. The tertiary education system has become a massive mis-allocation of public resources into something that is actually accelerating our economic demise by not producing a workforce that is in line with the requirements of industry.

I think there's some recognition from both sides of politics about the inevitability of mass-unemployment on a huge scale in Australia - even the new Senator for South Australia Tim Storer has called for unemployment benefits to be raised and the assessment requirements to be eased in order to help the broader economy and stop punishing the unemployed for simply not meeting the requirements of industry. The Henry Tax Review four years also also recommended this (but it was quietly buried) - my feeling is that the government is running out of places to warehouse the unemployed and eventually there will either need to be some kind of Commonwealth job guarantee or minimum income to try and arrest our national slide into poverty.
don_dunstan
Yep, never actually got a job in my field of qualification (although not exactly disconnected) when I graduated during height of 90's recession when we faced real unemployment. However I don't think I've been hard done by as within a few years of finishing uni most employers don't give a crap about what and where you studied and like most I know I've never shown my results to any employer (UAE excepted), employers care more about what you have achieved and what you can deliver to them (with the exception of qualifications like Dr's, certain Engineering etc where a qualification is legal requirement).

The number of 457's in the total employment pool is small, about 1.5-2%, some of using the system, most are not and contributing to the Australian economy and sharing skills or filling gaps. Now what about the reverse OS, FYI there are around 6000-10,000 in the UAE alone! I would hate to think how many in UK, Asia etc. I've had a few other country expats tell me there will be two things survive a nuclear war, cockroaches and Aussie expats, as both work and live anywhere and everywhere!

And surprise suprise, a SA Senator would be calling for higher unemployment payments!!! Considering the govt is in a $30B deficit and standard of living is dropping, where does he propose this money comes from??? The rest of the country is focused on improving employment, not throwing hands in the air!
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
The number of 457's in the total employment pool is small, about 1.5-2%, some of using the system, most are not and contributing to the Australian economy and sharing skills or filling gaps.
RTT_Rules
Actually it's 100,000 or so (read more here) but the majority of people working for illegally low wages are bought in on student visas.
nd surprise suprise, a SA Senator would be calling for higher unemployment payments!!! Considering the govt is in a $30B deficit and standard of living is dropping, where does he propose this money comes from??? The rest of the country is focused on improving employment, not throwing hands in the air!
RTT_Rules
What's your solution for bringing back full employment then?
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
The number of 457's in the total employment pool is small, about 1.5-2%, some of using the system, most are not and contributing to the Australian economy and sharing skills or filling gaps.
Actually it's 100,000 or so (read more here) but the majority of people working for illegally low wages are bought in on student visas.
nd surprise suprise, a SA Senator would be calling for higher unemployment payments!!! Considering the govt is in a $30B deficit and standard of living is dropping, where does he propose this money comes from??? The rest of the country is focused on improving employment, not throwing hands in the air!
What's your solution for bringing back full employment then?
don_dunstan
I said that 1-2% of the Australian working population is 100-200k.

There are not that many student visa's and they basically get little in return apart from being able to live here and pay alot of money. However I don't support ripping off workers.

Cutting immigration would be a start to resolving wages and employment.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
Thanks Don. Suspect you will be correct, if not already so.

Artificially low interest rates have fostered record personal debt and a culture of consumer spending. It has changed demand and supply curves for everything. With wages largely stagnant, as nswtrains said above, any surplus income is quickly directed to repayments for more depreciating consumer items.

Others will argue that living standards have never been higher. But how are they being measured, and at what personal cost? The typical employed adult works long hours, carries more debt for longer years, and may carry debt deep into retirement age.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-05/australias-household-debt-crisis-is-worse-than-ever/8413612

The jobs that might have paid for all our stuff aren't coming back. Our infrastructure is run down, our electricity is undersupplied and lacks baseload reliability, we've had multiple PM's in the last ten years and record immigration means fierce competition for the few entry level, low paid jobs on offer.

The tertiary industry was expanded to warehouse a generation of poeple who now realise they may never work in the field they studied. And have a five figure hecs debt to show for it. The availability of apprenticeships has shrunk and unskilled work has gone offshore.

None of this was inevitable. But our culture encourages people deeper into debt and the bankers and asset owners get richer. Where's the sense in that?
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Jason Murphy writing on News Ltd about the fact that super-low interest rates for the last two years is a sign that something is terribly wrong with our economy:

SOMETHING’S not right in Australia’s economy. The warnings are piling up, and the longer we ignore them, the more trouble we could be in.

Normally, interest rates don’t sit still for long. They usually rise and fall. But ours are frozen rigid. Our interest rate has now been stuck at 1.5 per cent for twenty months. That is quite a low rate and a low rate is supposed to make the economy better... Australia is stuck. In a perfect world, the RBA would probably have cut interest rates again. Would have tried to get inflation back up, get some heat back into the economy, and fix up unemployment.

The reason we don’t live in a perfect world is that Australia’s house prices are dangerously high — especially in Sydney, where the RBA is — and if they cut interest rates any further, it could make house prices go even crazier.

They can't raise rates because if they do that it will send thousands of mortgage holders (and possibly their creditors) to the wall; but the other problem is that super-low interest rates are not compelling people to borrow and spend more as they usually do in such an environment.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Locojoe67 used the words "artificially low interest rates". I would disagree they are artificially low as what this basis for raising interest rates? Wages are flat, job market is ho hum, housing market coming off the boil in some areas, but still flat or depressed in others, the changing economy is isolating many from higher pay jobs they previously enjoyed. There is basically minimal inflation with only power prices and a few other inputs keeping it this high.

The argument shouldn't be about raising interest rates, but rather why they shouldn't go lower? Actual fact going lower is pretty much pointless as RBA has pointed out and yes negative impact on already too high housing prices. Additionally compared to our western competitors, we have been far better off. The alternative which the govt has avoided is to place deposit limits on borrowing, something I'm not against.

The move towards sending people to university or some other training is basically to give people skills and knowledge. The job market that previously existing for people who left in year 10 or even year 12 with no further education is gone unless you count Macca's. Even jobs that have no obvious need for additional training you are competing against those who have and employers typically want people who know something, even if its general and not directly related to the job. It also says the person is trying to improve themselves above the base line.

Yes I agree they has been some "warehousing" in education, but no further education puts our youth and jobless behind our OS competition. You want to know what  its like working with people with limited life skills and narrow limited education, come over here! There is one thing certain in the Australian economy, the more limited your education, the less chances there are of finding a job.

Yes, for last 5 years the govt has been walking a tight rope. Cannot cut the deficit for fear of sending economy into a recession, difficult to cut the housing boom as it was at one point the man source of energy in the economy and immigration has been used to feed the housing construction market. I believe the overall intention is to keep the economy simmering while other sectors catch up to replace mining and not follow the likes of similar Canada into a recession.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
On interest rates we're all Keynesians now, whether we welcome it or not. The yield curve is so distorted by excess monetary creation that there are no truly priced investments anymore.Risk is badly mispriced. All assets have become financialised. We're in an everything bubble that is caused by low rates:

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/business/article/2026141/why-low-interest-rates-are-cause-not-cure-developed-worlds

Negative interest rates? Bad idea. Very, very bad idea.

I've tried to explain the issues from an alternate perspective many times. The current massive everything bubble has been decades in the making, and might go on for years yet. But we've been on even more risky borrowed time since 2008 and the almost failure of the banking system. The stock market is illusory wealth, even Warren Buffet is sitting on billions in cash because he can't see anything reasonably priced.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2013/04/07/monetarism-and-keynesianism-identical-adolescent-sides-of-the-same-coin/#7cc57d3e44dc

Our current education system is a complete joke. But really, all these poeple graduating with their useless degrees is preferable to them being illiterate and innumerate? Where did I say that?

I spent a couple of years marking essays and fathoming the writing and logic skills of generalist degree-to-be holders in first, second and third year Business subjects. These were native English speakers who had done 12 years in public and private schools.  And their skills were nothing to write home about. They couldn't write, form ideas, and had trouble assembling a coherent point. All I can conclude is that the value for money in our current warehousing project just isn't there.

And no: I don't have any great ideas about what to do with them either. The problem has been brewing in Western countries for some time now. In years gone past we'd have a war and wipe out part of the population. Whether that will happen again is hard to tell. All I know is that we have more people with useless degrees who can barely change a light bulb, let alone reconcile a spreadsheet and make it say something useful. Or even write a sentence about what the figures mean.

"employers typically want people who know something, even if its general and not directly related to the job. It also says the person is trying to improve themselves above the base line."

Attaining a pointless degree demonstrates the ability to regurgitate dogma. The recruitment process screens for the best people able to fit into corporate culture and not rock the boat. Even specialist disciplines like engineering and accounting are not immune.
  locojoe67 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gen X purgatory/urban Joh-land
On interest rates we're all Keynesians now, whether we welcome it or not. The yield curve is so distorted by excess monetary creation that there are no truly priced investments anymore.Risk is badly mispriced. All assets have become financialised. We're in an everything bubble that is caused by low rates:

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/business/article/2026141/why-low-interest-rates-are-cause-not-cure-developed-worlds

I've tried to explain this many times. The current massive everything bubble has been decades in the making, and might go on for years yet.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/johntamny/2013/04/07/monetarism-and-keynesianism-identical-adolescent-sides-of-the-same-coin/#7cc57d3e44dc
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
...

The move towards sending people to university or some other training is basically to give people skills and knowledge. The job market that previously existing for people who left in year 10 or even year 12 with no further education is gone unless you count Macca's. Even jobs that have no obvious need for additional training you are competing against those who have and employers typically want people who know something, even if its general and not directly related to the job. It also says the person is trying to improve themselves above the base line.

Yes I agree they has been some "warehousing" in education, but no further education puts our youth and jobless behind our OS competition. You want to know what  its like working with people with limited life skills and narrow limited education, come over here! There is one thing certain in the Australian economy, the more limited your education, the less chances there are of finding a job.

...
RTT_Rules
There are all sorts of reasons why this policy is going to cause tremendous long-term damage to our country.

Firstly the sheer expense of maintaining a system in which people are educated with low odds of employment in their field; the argument might run that a highly educated workforce is necessary and yet when you look at the 'skills shortage' list they're things like hospitality management, engineering and accounting - not really in any sort of diabolical shortage at all. At the moment there's a tremendous mis-allocation of resources towards higher learning of which about 80% of graduates are really surplus to requirement.

Secondly, the above being held to be true then the odd $6 billion thrown directly at universities by taxpayers (not including their HECS/HELP funding) could be better spent. There's also an argument that strangling these consumers with debt as soon as they leave school is hobbling them and preventing participation in things like the housing market and having kids. If you add to that the greatly diminished vocational value of obtaining expensive graduate and post-graduate qualifications and you're starting to see why the younger generation should be p*ssed off (but for some reason they're not).

If the demand is for nursing home workers and hospitality then people with degrees who ultimately end up doing that have wasted their own time as well as their own (and taxpayer) resources.

Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter wrote 80 years ago that capitalist society was going to produce way too many educated people who would eventually cause a revolution or disruption in the social order... if only Aussie students stood up for things that mattered.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
There are all sorts of reasons why this policy is going to cause tremendous long-term damage to our country.

Firstly the sheer expense of maintaining a system in which people are educated with low odds of employment in their field; the argument might run that a highly educated workforce is necessary and yet when you look at the 'skills shortage' list they're things like hospitality management, engineering and accounting - not really in any sort of diabolical shortage at all. At the moment there's a tremendous mis-allocation of resources towards higher learning of which about 80% of graduates are really surplus to requirement.

Secondly, the above being held to be true then the odd $6 billion thrown directly at universities by taxpayers (not including their HECS/HELP funding) could be better spent. There's also an argument that strangling these consumers with debt as soon as they leave school is hobbling them and preventing participation in things like the housing market and having kids. If you add to that the greatly diminished vocational value of obtaining expensive graduate and post-graduate qualifications and you're starting to see why the younger generation should be p*ssed off (but for some reason they're not).

If the demand is for nursing home workers and hospitality then people with degrees who ultimately end up doing that have wasted their own time as well as their own (and taxpayer) resources.

Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter wrote 80 years ago that capitalist society was going to produce way too many educated people who would eventually cause a revolution or disruption in the social order... if only Aussie students stood up for things that mattered.
don_dunstan
80% of uni grads are surplus? sorry if you believe that you believe in the tooth fairy.

I agree there is probably a misalignment in some training/uni/tafe etc, but this does not equal too much money being spent.

The economy has changed rapidly in last 5-10 years as such some students have started university with a career in mind that is being phased out for one reason or another. Likewise TAFE. Wouldn't be the first time, happened to me.

Employers no longer want grunters, they want people who can think. Australia needs to improve its productivity and this is done through more self managed teams/employees. Go to India and its 10 people to do the same job 2-4 Aussies workers would do despite their longer hours, but we are slipping in the productivity ranks.

That would be the first time I've ever heard that you can have too many educated people. Normally that comes from dictators who want to oppress their people. Fact is kids learn more in their 12 years of schooling today than they did before and this will increase. They have the bulk of the stuff we learnt and more, over hear add two extra languages to the list.

Watch CNN TV ads where countries advertise why you should set up your business there. The No1 or No.2 reason is "educated/flexible workforce", the other is govt support in cutting red tape, another issue for Australia.

Come over here and you will see the value in Australian education. We have teachers on staff to bring up the locals education to that required to do hands on operations, technician and mobile equipment operators. It takes over a year of class room training to bring a guy up to standard to be a technician. In Australia the average year 11-12 graduate could be one of my technicians and performing the task in 3mths with no further assistance.    The older generation education standards are so bad that mostly they are written off unless a high flyer who was educated OS.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
80% of uni grads are surplus? sorry if you believe that you believe in the tooth fairy.
RTT_Rules
I can't find the exact reference right now but generally speaking 80% of undergraduates will never work in their chosen field. I find that totally believable; I know lots of people whose 'first degree' isn't being used. When I was working in hospitality in Melbourne we'd have degree-qualified people coming through all the time making coffee and waiting tables; I once met someone with a double-degree in commerce and accounting who couldn't find work.

Universities are not providing the nation with a workforce that is adaptable and meets the needs of the current workforce and the cost to taxpayer annually is around $17 billion; that's a lot of money to spend on something that isn't fit-for-purpose.
Employers no longer want grunters, they want people who can think. Australia needs to improve its productivity and this is done through more self managed teams/employees. Go to India and its 10 people to do the same job 2-4 Aussies workers would do despite their longer hours, but we are slipping in the productivity ranks.
RTT_Rules
Is that why hospitality and aged care are importing workers on 457's? Because they can't find enough degree-qualified people to wipe bums? It's a myth perpetuated by the university system itself that we need a highly educated workforce - we don't. We are not a high-technology manufacturing nation; we have huge surpluses every year of engineers and accountants. Name me one degree stream in Australia that is in chronic short-supply?

And training people to graduate and post-graduate levels when they are destined for retail or hospitality is a waste of government resources and the individual's time and money; end of story. We don't need a highly trained workforce if the shortages are actually in areas not requiring these skills.
Come over here and you will see the value in Australian education.
RTT_Rules
I want an Australian education that is valuable and leads to employment in Australia. It doesn't matter that we are highly educated by global standards (in fact very few of our universities are in the top 100 globally now), we need a workforce that is fit-for-purpose in Australia.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
At the outset we need to differentiate between 'proper' degrees from 'proper' universities and 'Micky Mouse' degrees from 'Micky Mouse' universities.

'80% of uni grads are surplus'
Not confusing 'surplus' with 'useless' are we?

'I once met someone with a double-degree in commerce and accounting who couldn't find work'
Surprise surprise!
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
'I once met someone with a double-degree in commerce and accounting who couldn't find work'
Surprise surprise!
YM-Mundrabilla
I don't care what qualification some graduates have, some are unemployable due to attitude expressed in an interview. We once interviewed a guy who said he would start work later in day as 7am was too early, but said he would make up the hours. This was for a rotating day work shift based production related job where timing is driven by production, not personal preference.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
At the outset we need to differentiate between 'proper' degrees from 'proper' universities and 'Micky Mouse' degrees from 'Micky Mouse' universities.

'80% of uni grads are surplus'
Not confusing 'surplus' with 'useless' are we?
YM-Mundrabilla
It's an average percentage I recently read in "The Conversation" or somewhere similar; of course that varies from excellent to poor depending on the degree and the university. Here in SA there's calls for the University of South Australia to be abolished as maybe we can't support three government institutions in this state... don't know.

The point I was trying to make to Shane earlier is that there needs to be something that holds the universities to account for their results so that there's at least some kind of market mechanism there to redirect graduates away from courses with very little employment possibility. I understand that this will exacerbate the demise of the Humanities and regional universities but then maybe those courses/institutions aren't viable any longer?

Worst mistake Gillard ever made in my opinion - among her many, many irresponsible decisions - to uncap university places. In my opinion to complete the farce of warehousing the unemployed for several years until the inevitable disappointment of a services job after years of study.
'I once met someone with a double-degree in commerce and accounting who couldn't find work' Surprise surprise!
YM-Mundrabilla
Double-degrees are the new black - people are taking them in the hope that it builds in some redundancy to their education.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Closure of SA Uni?  I (briefly) googled and found nothing. My understanding is SA Uni had a good standing, SA should be looking to expand its position in the education market to attract full fee students.

Regard to uni grads, its a case of buyer beware?

Do you homework,
what is the course you want to do?
what is the salary expectations?
what is the employablity/job market like?
what is the future proofing of the degree against outsourcing to India and technology?

Studying courses with poor job prospects is fool hardy and a waste money and time.

Issue is uni places are mostly govt funded so how do you link govt funding with graduate success which can be highly volatile, especially smaller number degrees. You would expect lack of demand would be reason enough for uni's to cut courses.
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

At the outset we need to differentiate between 'proper' degrees from 'proper' universities and 'Micky Mouse' degrees from 'Micky Mouse' universities.

'80% of uni grads are surplus'
Not confusing 'surplus' with 'useless' are we?
It's an average percentage I recently read in "The Conversation" or somewhere similar; of course that varies from excellent to poor depending on the degree and the university. Here in SA there's calls for the University of South Australia to be abolished as maybe we can't support three government institutions in this state... don't know.

The point I was trying to make to Shane earlier is that there needs to be something that holds the universities to account for their results so that there's at least some kind of market mechanism there to redirect graduates away from courses with very little employment possibility. I understand that this will exacerbate the demise of the Humanities and regional universities but then maybe those courses/institutions aren't viable any longer?

Worst mistake Gillard ever made in my opinion - among her many, many irresponsible decisions - to uncap university places. In my opinion to complete the farce of warehousing the unemployed for several years until the inevitable disappointment of a services job after years of study.
'I once met someone with a double-degree in commerce and accounting who couldn't find work' Surprise surprise!
Double-degrees are the new black - people are taking them in the hope that it builds in some redundancy to their education.
don_dunstan
Anyone who cannot find work with a double degree in commerce/accounting is not really trying and maybe aiming too high. Try for a government job (ASIC/ATO) rather than some prestigious big 6 accounting firm.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Double Degrees can be extremely attractive to employers and put the student in a good position. Doubles like Eng/Law, the guy I knew named his price. Rest as what NSWtrains said.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Closure of SA Uni?  I (briefly) googled and found nothing. My understanding is SA Uni had a good standing, SA should be looking to expand its position in the education market to attract full fee students.
RTT_Rules
The University of Adelaide has been pushing it as something for the incoming Liberal government to think about - and to expand their own power base (of course). South Australia has had an aggressive campaign to attract international students for yonks but it's difficult to compete against the already established choices of Melbourne and Sydney.
Studying courses with poor job prospects is fool hardy and a waste money and time.
RTT_Rules
There's a number of factors here that could lead to making a bad choice. My primary beef is with the Commonwealth itself, which has been relentlessly pushing the myth that Australia needs more STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics) graduates in the false belief that we will be a large advanced manufacturing nation somewhere down the track. Nothing could be further from the truth - in fact we have a chronic over-supply of engineers already and we import tens of thousands. Why tell kids to do courses that have the worst outcomes?

This also applies to the universities themselves selling qualifications that are nothing but pure rubbish - a "Bachelor of Sustainability" for example (which I notice the University of South Australia sells!), it might sound really hip and useful but in reality who is going to employ someone with that qualification and to do what? And you can bet the marketing around those useless qualifications is really good, telling people that this is the way of the future, that employers will want people who can keep organic things out of landfill etc etc.

Finally I think its almost impossible for 18 year old kids to think rationally and logically about where they want to be in 10 years and doing what. People train for things that they subsequently find too competitive; or they hate what they're doing; or the market changes while they doing their often-lengthy qualifications.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Closure of SA Uni?  I (briefly) googled and found nothing. My understanding is SA Uni had a good standing, SA should be looking to expand its position in the education market to attract full fee students.
The University of Adelaide has been pushing it as something for the incoming Liberal government to think about - and to expand their own power base (of course). South Australia has had an aggressive campaign to attract international students for yonks but it's difficult to compete against the already established choices of Melbourne and Sydney.
Studying courses with poor job prospects is fool hardy and a waste money and time.
There's a number of factors here that could lead to making a bad choice. My primary beef is with the Commonwealth itself, which has been relentlessly pushing the myth that Australia needs more STEM (Science, technology, engineering, mathematics) graduates in the false belief that we will be a large advanced manufacturing nation somewhere down the track. Nothing could be further from the truth - in fact we have a chronic over-supply of engineers already and we import tens of thousands. Why tell kids to do courses that have the worst outcomes?

This also applies to the universities themselves selling qualifications that are nothing but pure rubbish - a "Bachelor of Sustainability" for example (which I notice the University of South Australia sells!), it might sound really hip and useful but in reality who is going to employ someone with that qualification and to do what? And you can bet the marketing around those useless qualifications is really good, telling people that this is the way of the future, that employers will want people who can keep organic things out of landfill etc etc.

Finally I think its almost impossible for 18 year old kids to think rationally and logically about where they want to be in 10 years and doing what. People train for things that they subsequently find too competitive; or they hate what they're doing; or the market changes while they doing their often-lengthy qualifications.
don_dunstan
So what your effectively saying is the Chancellor of one SA uni has empire building aspirations to grow his university by taking merging two institutions and him being the natural choice of Chancellor for the new institution. That's a far cry "there are calls", rather a call by one self-interested individual.

As you may know Don, the uni's are not state funded, they are federal funded so the voice into the new Premier's ear is of limited value.

When I was at TSIT (Tasmanian State Institute of Technology), which was later taken over by Uni of Tas before I finished, 20% of the students were full fee. Why were they there and not Sydney, simple, cost of living (same for me), but still get a degree from Australia. SA's biggest leverage in attracting foreign students is your lower cost of living, relatively safe city and still a city of 1m plus. If Launceston get attract 20%, I'm sure SA can do better. Considering the  cost of living in Sydney and Melbourne I'm surprised more Australian students are not choosing to study is quieter/cheaper locations. Unlike USA, most of our uni's have similar standing with employers for most degrees.

Your comments on Engineering is a wa_nk and I told you that before. Your voicing an opinion in a market trough, yes some industries are going/gone, others are growing and this includes the RE Power sector!

Your reference to say we are not a manufacturing and hence don't need STEM is also BS.

Renewable and sustainability are the flavor of the decade if not century. I have no idea whats in that degree nor what roles those graduates get so no comment further, although I do know many large business and govt departments have departments and jobs called by similar names.

I 100% support the concept of Gap year! Work, travel, drink, shag, what ever just as so long as its mostly legal and doesn't harm others. Look at the world then see how you want to fit in. I have an investment for each of my boy's to go to uni and my wife an I have agreed on rules on how they can each spend it and this includes giving 10% for Gap year if so needed, not much, but will get them a return airfare to where ever and a few months spending money, the rest is up to them. If they don't Gap, then this can be used to buy a car for uni.

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