ItemWorkers on 457 Visas: Evidence from the Western Australian Resources Sector(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Bahn, Susanne"This article shows that in 2011–2012 the Australian resources sector was challenged by sharp demands for experienced skilled workers. These shortages reflected the limited pool of specialised Australian skilled labour willing to relocate to Western Australia, the falling numbers of workers taking up apprenticeships and traineeships, and the lack of experience of new graduates. Under these conditions, resources firms actively sourced overseas skilled labour on temporary 457 visas. In 2013, the landscape is changing in that some resource projects have tapered off, Australian workers have relocated to Western Australia in larger numbers, and access to skilled labour via the 457 visa has decreased. It appears that resource firms are using the 457 visa as a temporary response to deal with genuine skill shortages. However, the research here suggests that Australian workers may be subjected to coercive comparisons with overseas labour willing to work harder and longer in poorer conditions." ItemSurely there are too many graduates now?(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Karmel, TThis article updates earlier work which asked the question whether Australia was producing too many graduates, noting that the increase in the proportion of the workforce with degrees had been quite dramatic. That work dated from the mid 1990s, and the quick answer was that the lack of change in relative earnings implied very extensive changes in the structure of labour demand. However, the expansion of the proportion of the workforce with qualifications has continued at a remarkable rate and therefore it is timely to ask the question again. By examining the relationship between changes in the proportions of the workforce with different levels of education and changes in relative wages, the article estimates shifts in the demand for labour across the various levels of education. ItemA Just Transition to a Green Economy: Evaluating the Response of Australian Unions(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Goods, CMany policymakers, unions, and businesses have embraced the idea of green jobs and a green economy. This enthusiasm for environmentally sound job creation received a significant shot in the arm at the end of 2008, in the context of the global financial crisis, as an important element in the solution to the world’s economic and ecological concerns. The connection between work and combating environmental problems is however an area of significant contestation. This has resulted in highly varied understandings of what constitutes a green job and a just transition to a green economy. This article scrutinises the response of the Australian Council of Trade Unions—as the peak union body in Australia—and three specific unions to the challenge of transiting from the world of work towards an ecologically sustainable footing. ItemAdding Migrants to the Mix: The Demography of the Labour Force Participation Rate, 2000 to 2010(National Institute of Labour Studies, 2013) Cully, M"Between 2000 and 2010, the labour force participation rate in Australia increased by more than 2 percentage points to reach a record high by the end of the decade. This article decomposes the change in the participation rate to examine the respective contributions of age, gender, and birthplace. There are three strong findings. First, among the Australian-born, increases in the propensity to participate in the labour force—among women and older persons—fully offsets the downward pull of ageing. Second, among the overseas-born, there is both a reverse-ageing effect—reflecting the large influx of young migrants over the past decade—and the same higher propensity to participate among women and older persons. The end result is that migrants added 1.9 percentage points to the aggregate participation rate over the past decade. Third, controlling for age and gender, participation rates for the overseas-born remain lower than they are for the Australian-born people. There has been some convergence over the decade for men, but not for women."