Vol. 39 No. 1 2013
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ItemAkubras to Hard Hats: Easing Skill Shortages through Labour Harmonisation Strategies(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Storer, C ; Connell, J"This article examines skill and labour shortages within rural agricultural industries in Western Australia. It draws on primary and secondary data, including 600 survey respondents in the sector. It is determined that there may be a shortage of farm workers during the busy seasons, while they are unemployed during the low seasons. Consequently, it is proposed that a human capability framework is utilised to encourage farm owners and (or) workers to consider the potential for labour-harmonisation (LH) strategies which would allow workers to transit between working on the land during the busy seasons and in mining during the low seasons. The outcomes of the study are considered in relation to indicators of precarious work illustrating that LH could enable an easing of labour shortages for both the farming and mining sectors, while providing benefits for the respective workers, employers, and the region in general."
ItemThe Impact of Training Practices on Individual, Organisation, and Industry Skill Development(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Kennett, GThis article discusses the way in which employers provide training and how it has an impact on individual, organisational, and industry skill development. It uses findings from a research study of the relationship between training and development and employee turnover. The study uncovered three training and development models that had likely consequences for employee turnover. These models were labelled Individual Development, Team Development, and Organisational Development. Individual Development contributed to higher employee turnover when it was adopted in a work environment which lacked employment-growth opportunities, and where employees perceived more external job alternatives. Team Development was likely to contribute to lower employee turnover if adopted in conjunction with other high-performance work practices, or if there was evidence of job embeddedness in the organisation. Finally, the Organisational Development model appeared to contribute to higher employee turnover when the training activities contributed to a lack of role clarity, and to poorer employee commitment to the organisation.
ItemSourcing Specialised Skilled Labour in the Global Arena: A Change in the Way We View Work in Australia?(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Bahn, Susanne ; Cameron, Roslyn"This article presents a newly developed research agenda to explore the increased needs of resource-rich regions in terms of sourcing industry-specific skilled labour. The article begins with a conceptual framework that maps the human resource management issues that are being magnified by the resources boom in Australia. The paper focuses on one of the five key thematic areas encompassed within the framework—labour global mobility. The difficulty in sourcing specialised skilled labour at this time indicates a major paradigm shift that is challenging long-held beliefs and constructs related to the nature of work in Australia with specialised skilled migrant workers actively sourced to fill positions in resources firms. After reviewing the international literature, we explore labour-sourcing practices as a response to dealing with skill shortages in the labour demand and supply of Australia’s resource-rich regions. This is followed by a discussion on how these practices have progressed in regional Queensland and Western Australia."
ItemOnshore Skilled Migrant Engineers: Skills Wastage and Atrophy(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Cameron, Roslyn ; Joyce, Deborah ; Wallace, Michelle ; Kell, PeterThis article reports the survey findings from a research project exploring the use of skilled migration as a strategy for assisting in overcoming the pressing risks facing the Australian rail industry in workforce development. These risks are associated with an ageing workforce and skill shortages in engineering and technical areas. The data presented originate from a survey of skilled migrants in an employment program for skilled migrants in the Sydney metropolitan area and skilled migrant engineers in Victoria. The findings point to the potential, and yet untapped source of highly qualified professionals who could be targeted for recruitment by the rail industry. Of greater significance are the broader implications of the research in terms of engineering skills wastage and atrophy in a time when Australia cannot produce enough engineering professionals domestically to meet the demand. This is all set against a backdrop of global engineering shortages and fierce domestic competition for engineering skills made even more prominent with the second wave of the resources boom.
ItemRediscovering Braverman? Political Economy, Skill, and Skill Shortages(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Fitzgerald, S ; Rainnie, A ; Burgess, J
Item"Indigenous Workforce Participation at a Mining Operation in Northern Australia"(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Pearson, C ; Daff, S"The potential of the Australian minerals industry to generate considerable national revenue can be jeopardised in periods of economic growth by fostering a shortage of relevant educated and skilled personnel. Legal reforms of the 1990s, public pressure, and benefits by employing local Aboriginal people has driven the installation of work-integrated learning programs designed to reduce the skill shortage by increasing the employment rate of Indigenous people in the mining industry. This article reports five years of primary data to detail nationally accredited attainments and relevant job outcomes of an Indigenous education-vocation program that has delivered sustainable jobs in a substantive remote mining operation in northern Australia. Identified barriers for applicants and vocational career choices that are framed by values and priorities held by regional Indigenous people are discussed to focus on a conclusion challenging the mining industry and the government to disclose how Indigenous training schemes are ameliorating the skills gap in the Australian mining industry."