Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

Forestry Industry S.E NSW By Indi Wood

Posted: June 1, 2014 by indiwood in Economics, Environment

Whether you think it’s due to the environmental movement, operational costs or an international market most people these days are aware that the forestry industry has undergone a downturn over the last couple of years. Interestingly though, that’s not actually true of the entire industry.

Although hardwood timbers are becoming more and more difficult to sell, the softwood timber industries such as treated pine and softwood timber framing have caused the mill in Bombala to boom, attracting international backers. A Korean company bought the locally owned mill in Bombala and with a massive injection of funds they have installed a computerized mill that will cut as much timber in one six hour shift as the manual team could do in a week.

In Eden the hardwood chip mill went through this kind of boom in about 2008 and is now owned by Japanese backers. Peter Mitchell, the general manager of South East Fiber Exports, now tells me that he is not in a position to tell the community how long their operation will last in its current form. This year they look set to export almost half of the 1.1 million tonnes they shipped in 2008. So, how successful are these multinational organizations? In small regional communities like Eden or Bombala they offer a great boost to a regional economy but what does it mean if the community looses control of their local employer? We also have to ask ourselves the question how far would these local businesses have gone without the international support and how does a regional center balance out all these concerns.

Although the hardworking communities of Eden and Bombala stay standing at this point,  it’s the hard working Victorians who will be effected by this reduction. If, however, the reduction does effect the Eden based mill. As the communities major employer the outcome will be concerning to say the least.

As Peter Mitchell said ‘I’ve lived in this community for 30 years and had to be neighbors with people I’ve made redundant’ in a tight knit community any troubles with the major employer have an effect on the whole town.

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The job industry has become more competitive in current years now that applicants can go job hunting from the comfort of their own home with websites such as Linked IN and Seek.

With vast quantities of people online and marketing themselves to prospective organizations, it has become a requirement to be digital savvy to stand out above the pack.

For older generations who are accustomed to seeking work the traditional way, this has the potential to leave them out of their element and overlooked by employers.

“I believe it’s my age, I’m in that age bracket, in my 50’s, where a lot of companies are not interested in taking on somebody in that age bracket,” said Denise Docker, who has been out of work for two years now since the Government made her last job redundant.

Age has been shown to be a handicap in certain fields due to an assumed  lack of technical competency, the business image or physical requirements.

Older people, who have been out of work for a while, are now finding prospective employers are expecting basic skill sets involving digital technologies.

“If I was employing for a role that needed knowledge in certain technologies, then if an older candidate had the same aptitude with those technologies as the younger candidate, they certainly wouldn’t be discriminated against,” said Ray Pascoe, a small company owner.

For people such as Denise, who was let go from her last job due to Government budget cuts, it is fitting that the Government assume responsibility for providing her with training to make her more employable in the current job market.

Denise said that she was contacted by Seek to study for a certificate four in business free of charge, as they received Government sponsorship for people who were struggling to find work.

This is yet another example of the benefits which some people may be unknowingly forgoing as they have yet to step foot into the cyber world.

Online job hunting does pose its flaws as well as its advantages however.

Whilst it makes it easier for people to network and get in touch with the right people, it also floods the job market and dilutes the talent pool when employers are forced to sift through dozens, or sometimes hundreds of online job applications.

Like with most elements of day to day life that have integrated themselves online, society will need to find its balance with the new and the traditional to find synergy.

 

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate in Australia rose to six per cent in February this year, for the first time in more than a decade. This jobless rate tops the figure reached during the height of the global financial crisis, when unemployment peaked at 5.9 per cent in June 2009.

Jomana Najeb is a Master of Creative Media graduate with a vast range of work experiences. “I’ve worked mainly in admin type roles, I’ve done a lot of project management, marketing, community events, I’ve also worked in sales…I’ve done a lot of various things, I’ve even worked in Communications as well.” Unfortunately with Victoria experiencing one of the highest jobless rates in the nation, finding work has been a challenge for Jomana and many others in a similar situation as her. Many people are becoming increasingly concerned about the lack of opportunities despite their qualifications and skills.

For some it means venturing into alternative avenues to ensure they remain employed. Brendan Pearson is from recruitment agency, OzRecruits. He says the rise in unemployment rate has impacted their work. “There’s been a marked increase in the number of applications we’re seeing as unemployment grows, we’re noticing that a lot more people are finding out about our services.” Mr Pearson says some people are deviating towards other career paths they feel provide more stability. Additionally, Mr Pearson indicates a noticeable rise in interest for courses undertaken to develop skills necessary for some roles. With the shortage of full-time positions, OzRecruits has observed a trend towards job searchers applying for part-time, casual and even temporary roles.

Meanwhile, health experts are concerned about the health effects of lengthy periods spent in front of computer screens searching and applying for jobs. Psychologist and health advocate, Santilla Charlton says people should have a routine for their day while job searching and incorporate physical activity. “We encourage people to take some breaks as you would if you were in an office. Stretch your legs, go outside and get some fresh air. Make sure you eat healthily, don’t sit eating at the computer desk. Make sure you go somewhere, maybe outside in the backyard and have your lunch there.”

For Jomana, among many tasks on her daily to-do list, she has ensured exercise takes a high priority. To clear her mind from the stress of applications, she goes for a walk each day and has joined her local gym. Furthermore, as the uncertainty of the job market continues, Jomana says she’s prepared for other options. “I spend a part of my time researching all these other opportunities for how I could work for myself because I’ve decided that the job market is getting smaller and I’d like to consider working for myself.”

 

Geelong is a city going through a turbulent transition, stranded between its history and its future. Its modern legacy as a stronghold of heavy industry – led by Ford, Alcoa and Shell – is fading fast.

Ford has been closing its Geelong manufacturing works for some time, with the final jobs to go by 2016. Alcoa has announced that its ageing aluminium smelter and rolling mill would close in August, at a cost of 800 jobs. Last year Qantas axed just under 300 maintenance jobs at the nearby Avalon Airport and Target sacked 260 workers from its Geelong head office.

Geelong has a long history as a city, and with that, a long history of being able to rebuild itself from problems past. There is little doubt Geelong will reinvent itself as a smart city of the future on the back of its tourism, agriculture and, service industries, as well as its role as a port, and  its role as a hub for new industry, such as carbon fibre manufacturing.

The inevitable and immediate pain of future uncertainty looms for Geelong’s recently unemployed. One of the major problems with widespread job cuts to similar industries to an area in a short period of time is that it creates a situation where there are too many workers looking for what little work is still available. As Professor Louse Johnson explained during my interview with her, about one third of workers will find work in a similar industry, maintaining a similar standard of living; another third will find work in lesser jobs, reducing their standard of living. For the other third, it’s unlikely that they will work again. The question of whether to remain in Geelong, the bedrock of many workers’ lives, beckons also.

Fitter and turner Jay Craven, 24, was made redundant by Ford in Geelong in an early wave of job cuts. The atmosphere of redundancy is not a good one. The media seem to know information before the workers do, and there’s a general sense of despondency in the air as colleagues and friends turn on each other in a battle for job survival.

Whilst many of his colleagues tried to find work in and around Geelong to varying degrees of success, Jay decided to apply for a jobs in Melbourne. After a period of applying for jobs without luck, a family friend suggested he apply for a maintenance job at Yarra Trams. When he found out that he got the job, the decision to head down the highway was an easy one. Unlike some of his colleagues whom were rentrenched in Geelong with homes and young families, Jay’s only attachment was a sentimental one, having lived in the area his whole life.

Jay now lives in Preston with his sister, who also works in Melbourne. He is really enjoying the change, believing his fresh start will allow him to better develop a career and grow as a person. No one likes seeing people lose their jobs, but for Jay, redundancy was was the catalyst for a positive change in his life.

Young manufacturing boss by Candy Huang

Posted: June 1, 2014 by ivoburum in Economics, mojo, Rural Events
Tags: ,

This young manufacturing boss was a student two years ago, he has had some special experience that others cannot imagine. He realized his dream, created his own brand “AUMORE WOOL”, and became a factory owner in Australia. His name is Clark, and now he is the founder and managing director of Chuanxin international Pty Ltd.

When we made an appointment for an interview, I waited outside his factory for him and notice the large sign, “AUMORE WOOL”. The neighboring factory worker Chris told me Clark was a really excellent young man, worked very hard, and that everyone who worked in this street knows him. I began to image what sort of a person he is.

During the interview, Clark told me a long story about his personal life, and how hard he worked in order to start this business. I found that this young man was very passionate for his own business, he showed me his factory and the products and told me the story about the machine. Although he had lot of pressure and stress on business, this young man was still calm and had a serious plan. I supposed that was the real difference between him and all the rest.

David, who is a boss form Mobile Essential says, “in today’s market competition, product quality is most important.

Clark said that, he flew to different places hand-picked wool in every season, and chose the best wool in the world used to make a quilt. Every time a product was sold to a different country, he hung the national flag of that country in the factory. “I want to hang the national flag of different countries in whole of industry,” Clark says proudly.

Now, his career going very stable, and he has more long-term goals. That is, to make his brand “AUMORE WOOL” a world leading luxury brand.

From a student to a young manufacturing boss is not the end of Clark’s story, it is just beginning, he has a long way to go to realize his dream.

Anonymity is a controversial topic in the age of information. We are all entitled to our own opinions on the subject but what cannot be disputed is the fact that anonymity allows an individual the freedom to step outside of their social, economic and even physical status in life and speak freely on a topic considered taboo.  The internet seems to be the battlefield where this statement is put most to the test.

The video link at the bottom of this post is a link to a certain review of a particular multilevel marketing company(MLM), which is yet another subject of controversy.  Interestingly enough, the author has chosen to remain anonymous.

Organizations like this are similar to the ocean tides; they are transnational titans that go back and forth freely from shores across the globe, sweeping up one generation and disappearing, only returning to impart the same lesson on the children of yesterday. In a very sad way, such deceptions have become a form of initiation into adulthood for many. A lesson some might say on the mechanics of deception. While I have never directly participated in MLM, like most people, if not literally all, there are only a few degrees of separation between myself and a victim of this industry. To my recent surprise, my parents too even participated in Amway.

The way to challenge these giants is through information, except companies like this also spend millions of dollars in Public Relations attempting to create an image of transparency. It wouldn’t be insane to suggest these MLM organizations also hold a monopoly on the flow of information regarding their industry and public perception as well. They achieved this through the rigorous management of search engine tools like AdWords, AdSense, SEO and a splash of Astroturfing.

Many people have claimed that these corporations are cult-like in their ability to implant ideas, change personalities and warp opinions; they are masters in the craft of brainwash.

They are a threat that desperately needs to be re-considered by governments across the world, especially for the future integrity of the internet.

This video is interesting as it is not an answer to this problem but a means of verifying who the bad guys in this industry are.  The person who made it obviously wanted to withhold their identity for the purpose of protecting themselves against the financial liability possibly involved in standing up against such an industry.

The clip lasts for 11 minutes and can be viewed here.

By Mike Tzounis

The tragic economic situation of Greece deeply affects Melbourne as the Victorian capital welcomes growing numbers of Greek migrants and sees its population rise at an impressive rate.

It is estimated that every week, almost 100 Greeks land in Australia’s airports on temporary visas, hoping to secure a better future Down Under, as things in Europe have gone south and do not seem to be any close to improving.

According to unconfirmed data from Immigration, about 3000 Greeks have arrived in Melbourne the past year in order to look for job opportunities with a view to obtaining permanent visas and Australian citizenship.

Some of them are lucky enough to find sponsors who employ them and guarantee them a permanent visa to Australia, but others, not so lucky, are forced to go back home empty-handed after their visas expire.

There are also people who come to Australia on tourist visas but fail to provide enough satisfactory evidence of being genuine tourists and get sent back home.

In many cases, tourists did not have enough funds to pay for their stay in Australia and even had their tickets bought by others, which caused Immigration to send them back to Greece in the next available flight.

Most Greeks get student visas in order to have working rights, even part-time, so as to make some money and help their families back home.

They are lucky enough to be in Australia, where wages are a lot better than European ones, so they can make some money and survive the financial crisis.

It may be surprising, but the reality is that some Greeks get student visas purely to be able to work rather than get a University or TAFE degree from an Australian institution.

Konstantinos Tsigkris is one of the few exceptions. Coming from Athens and with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a vast experience as a salesman for Coca-Cola, he is currently on his way to obtaining his MBA from Victoria University.

He sees coming to Australia as a challenge and wants to broaden his horizons.

The crisis, however, also affects Greeks who already have an Australian passport. Stratos Kotsis, born in Melbourne, spent most of his life in Thessaloniki, Greece, before deciding to come back to Australia in order to enjoy a better standard of living.

Stratos has been a chef for about four years but lack of employment and opportunities forced him to leave Greece, which he loves, and migrate permanently to Australia.

The Australian government has stated its intention to help and is currently in discussions with the Greek government for a working tourist visa agreement.

Last October, the Department of Immigration in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian Embassy in Greece organised a seminar in Athens, where employers from Australia had the opportunity to speak with Greeks interested in coming Down Under to work and informed them of all the details of living and working in Australia.

Many Greeks attended the seminar held at the Australian Embassy in Athens last October (Photo: Google)

It is worth noting that in 2005, the Australian government took the initiative and offered Greece the opportunity to sign the agreement, only to be rejected by then Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis.

It is the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria that brought the subject back to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen’s agenda last year and talks between the two governments have been progressing well during the past weeks.

The GOCMV also tries to help Greeks arriving in Melbourne by providing assistance with visa applications, job opportunities and guidance.

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, shaking hands with the President of the GOCMV, Bill Papastergiadis during the meeting with the GOCMV board (Photo: http://www.greekcommunity.com.au)

For more information, please visit miketzounis.wordpress.com