Vol. 28 No. 2 2002

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    The new child labour? The part-time student workforce in Australia
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Smith, E; Wilson, L
    This paper reports on the findings about part-time school students’ working from a research project, in two Australian States, into school students’ experiences in workplaces. The findings, from a survey and case studies, indicate that over half of Australian school-children in Years 10 and above are engaged in formal paid work. The majority of students who wish to work do not appear to experience much difficulty findings jobs, although those from certain minority groups are less likely to work than the average. Nearly two-thirds of student-workers are employed in the retail and fast food industries. The paper argues that more attention needs to be paid to student part-time working, as it is now the normal form of entry to the labour market.
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    AWAs: A review of the literature and debates
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Van Barneveld, K; Waring, P
    The re-election of the Howard Government in the 2001 federal election has secured the place of AWAs in Australian industrial relations. Yet their continued presence does not remain free of controversy or conjecture. In this paper we survey the extant literature on AWAs, noting in particular, the debates over various aspects of their operation and effect. We conclude by outlining a research agenda to resolve the most critical questions raised by the literature review, and a proposal that the Office of the Employment Advocate consider gathering new data to improve AWA research.
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    The decline in apprenticeship training in the electrical and associated industries in Victoria
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Worland, David; Doughney, James
    A nation that pursues a knowledge-based approach to economic growth might be expected to view its skill base as an important component of this strategy and the rate of accumulation of trade skills as an important part of the skill formation story. Australia, in common with many other countries, has experienced an uneven rate of trade skills formation over time. This paper identifies the emergence of a skills shortage in the electrical and associated occupations in Victoria over the last decade. Three key issues emerge. The first is the downward trend in the number of apprentices being trained in Victoria. The evidence shows that the accumulation of electrical trade skills in Victoria is occurring at a much slower rate than in other States. State specific factors provide at least part of the explanation for this. On the question of whether apprenticeship training is becoming more equitable by being more accessible to minority groups, the evidence shows that women and other disadvantaged groups are not becoming better represented within the apprentice population. Finally, the paper presents arguments about the nature of the skills shortage and provides an estimate of the size of this shortage.
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    Peace at last? Recent trends in Australia's industrial action
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Healy, Joshua Gregory
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    Consumer prices and wages in the twentieth century
    (National Institute of Labour Studies, 2002) Hancock, K
    The purpose of this article is to provide a century-long perspective of prices and wages in Australia. Readers will be aware that over the twentieth century the purchasing power of money declined. They will also know that wages rose proportionately more than consumer prices, so that there was a substantial increase in real wages. This is an attempt to quantify these changes. The interrelation of prices and wages – for example, the extent to which price increases were caused by wage movements and vice versa – is a topic of much interest to economists and policy makers. I refrain from pursuing it in this article, which is essentially an attempt to present ‘facts’.