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Posts Tagged ‘australian economy’

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) left interest rates on hold at 3 percent as predicted.                                                 reserve_bank_400

A  survey by AAP had expected the RBA to leave the cash rate at the lowest since 1960.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said last weekend that it was obvious that rates will rise, while Minister for Financial Services, Chris Bowen, warned yesterday that rates can’t stay low forever.

Some economists believe the first rate rise could come this year, but the general view is that rates will remain on hold until the middle of next year.

In a statement released after the announcement, governor Glenn Stevens said the risk of “severe contraction” in the Australian economy had abated.

“Economic conditions in Australia have been stronger than expected a few months ago, with both consumer spending and exports notable for their resilience,” the statement says.

“Measures of confidence have recovered a good deal of ground.”

The statement adds: “The board’s judgment is that the present accommodative setting of monetary policy is appropriate given the economy’s circumstances.

“The board will continue to monitor how economic and financial conditions unfold and how they impinge on prospects for sustainable growth in economic activity and achieving the inflation target.”

 

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Bill Gates wouldn’t get a job in Australia because he has no local experience,’’ says Ailis Logan, the founder of Tribus Lingua, a consultancy assisting skilled migrants find jobs. Logan is only half joking.

She believes that Australian employers value local experience much more than their counterparts in Europe and the US.

For the many overseas professionals enticed here by the lure of a bountiful job market, the difficulty of finding a job without local experience is no joke.

What does “no local experience’’ really mean?

Are we so parochial that we’d reject Bill Gates if he sent us his resume?

Do we run our businesses in a uniquely Australian way?

Many of us will go overseas to work, valuing the career and life experience we bring back-yet we appear to view the experience that others bring here with suspicion.

Ian Little, the author of Project Australia: Land that Engineering Job in Australia, suggests our geographic isolation has contributed to our conservatism. As the senior engineering manager at engineering giant Worely Parsons, he’s hired many overseas professionals.

He believes that a lack of Australian experience is actually the biggest barrier any newcomer will face. Employers appear worried about the communication skills of skilled immigrants.

Poorly written resumes from overseas professionals may fuel employers’ doubts about immigrants’ communication skills. Little and Logan say they see many bad resumes from recent arrivals.

This makes it harder for employers to assess overseas experience.

Logan recommends that newcomers provide context around places they’ve worked, including the challenges and drivers of the businesses they’ve worked in. It can be difficult to read a resume in isolation of preconceived ideas about a nationality.

It would be naive to suggest that people never discriminate, but Little certainly doesn’t believe many Australians are inherently racist. When it comes to hiring he thinks Australian employers are just risk-averse.

“People will still encounter difficulties when they want to switch industries,’’ he says. “Employers don’t realise how tough times are, and they need to get flexible.’’

But even if everyone spoke English, misunderstandings about meanings can be common. Logan suggests our easy-going expressions can easily .

“Australians appear casual, but are not casual at all,’’ she says. “Come in for a chat’ can mean a formal interview, so you need to be prepared.’’

But perhaps there’s more going on than verbal confusion. Body language plays its part in defining meaning and each culture uses this differently.

Aparna Hebbani, an academic and researcher into intercultural communication in interviews at the University of Queensland says “non-verbals’’ such as a academic and researchercontribute to an estimated 66 per cent of meaning in social interaction.

She’s seen many cross-cultural misunderstandings in an interview. “If an Indian interviewee, for example, does not make ‘appropriate’ levels of eye contact with an Australian interviewer, they can interpret that as a lack confidence or not being truthful,’’ she says. “But the interviewee might not look into the interviewer’s eye out of respect.’’

The way different cultures see interviews may be detrimental to their chances of success. Little claims some have a “servant attitude’’ when it comes to marketing their skills.

“An employment contract is a two-way thing. I’ve not seen many overseas professionals who understand that,’’ he says. “They don’t understand that they have something to offer.’’

Confused communication aside, what are other risks in recruiting a newcomer? Logan and Little say that new arrivals need to understand Australian law, regulations and codes plus the general rules of Australian business practice. But Little suggests in engineering that employers’ perception that newcomers can’t adapt is greater than reality.

“Engineering is an applied science-the laws of science do not change,’’ he says.

In some professions the local learning curve is steeper and longer. Accounting is one example. David Smith, a former partner of accounting firm PKF and ex-president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, runs Smithink, a management consultancy advising accountants.

He sees the employers’ concern over communication skills of immigrants and their ability to understand the highly complex Australian tax system and superannuation laws as major barriers for accountants new to Australia.

Logan says overseas professionals need to understand that the structure of the Australian economy is “old-fashioned’’, with up to 70 per cent of businesses classified small-medium.

The accounting industry reflects this statistic. Smith suggests a typical small-business accounting firm will find it hard to embrace new arrivals who cannot hit the ground running.

Small firms struggle to verify skills, have limited resources for training and perhaps less patience for the newcomer under pressure.

There are other barriers that make it difficult for newcomers to find jobs. Smith and Little suggest that employers need to assess attitude when it comes to hiring overseas professionals, as this makes a big difference in how quickly people will adapt.

Little says employers’ rigid recruitment practices can prevent this. “Many employers are stuck in a 1980s way of thinking. In that decade there were lots of people to choose from and some fairly militant unionism. Employers found that if they didn’t select the right person [the union] would be likely to challenge. They needed a bullet-proof system.’’

She believes employers should build teams-instead of filling holes when they hire-matching weaknesses in skill sets with complementary strengths.

HR professionals would argue that recruitment processes have evolved. The larger firms often spend many thousands of dollars identifying what makes the company tick before writing it into recruitment practice, hoping to recruit candidates with the right attitude.

Yet the “right attitude’’ is nuanced, notoriously difficult to codify and assess from an appraisal of a resume and the more traditional interview.

Also keeping candidates at a distance are recruitment consultants and online resume screening software.

Many employers’ online careers pages do not have a contact name or number. It can be difficult for applicants to talk directly to someone with close knowledge of the core business who can give them a realistic appraisal of their fit.

Little sees many benefits for organisations willing to open their doors a little wider. While he has observed overseas engineers having a slower path to productivity than their Australian equivalents, he notes the longer term rewards of hiring them as a bonus.

“They are less likely to move on than an Australian hire and they have a great work ethic and less baggage from their background,’’ he says. “They bring new skills not available in Australia, and support our international operations with their knowledge and language skills.’’

Source : www.careerone.com.au

More Information  :  www.tribuslingua.com.au

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AUSTRALIA is still doing better than other major economies despite a jump in jobless figures, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd says.  kevin-rudd

The unemployment rate has risen to 5.7 per cent, after the total number of people in work fell by 1700, official May jobs data showed today.

 “Today we have seen an increase in unemployment to 5.7 per cent, returning to where it was in March this year, although employment remained fairly steady falling by 1700,” he told delegates at an Australian Industry Group lunch in Sydney.

He said the unemployment figures were indicative of how the financial crisis was affecting Australia.

“The global recession is continuing to have a direct impact on the Australian economy and Australian jobs,” Mr Rudd said.

“No one likes to see unemployment rise because of the global recession … (but) Australia’s unemployment rate remains lower than all other major advanced economies except Japan.”

He said the figures would have been far worse had it not been for the government’s stimulus packages.

“`Without our nation building plans, over 200,000 more Australians would be out of work,” he said.

Source www.news.com.au

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SALES of new homes rose for a third straight month in March – with a 7.3 per cent jump in WA – as government grants and low interest rates enticed buyers into the housing market, a survey shows.

The Housing Industry Association survey found new homes sales increased by 4.2 per cent to 8210 homes following a 7.8 per cent rise in February.

Purchases of detached homes rose by 4.1 per cent to 7474 houses in March, with a quarterly rise of 17 per cent, HIA reported.

HIA chief economist Harley Dale said the project home building market gained a lift from the first-homeowners’ grant (FHOG) and low interest rates during the first quarter of 2009.
The first-home owners’ boost for new dwellings is clearly lifting residential building activity and securing jobs within the Australian economy,” Dr Dale said.

In mid-October, the Federal Governmentdoubled the FHOG to $14,000 for established dwellings and tripled it to $21,000 for newly- built homes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the cash rate by four percentage points to 3.25 per cent between September and February. Subsequently, on April 7 the RBA cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to three per cent – a 49-year low.

Dr Dale said the Federal Government should consider whether to stop the boost to the FHOG, as originally planned for June 30.

Loans to first-home buyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sales of units rose by 4.7 per cent to 736 in March, yet sales in the sector were down by 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
The first-home owners’ boost for new dwellings is clearly lifting residential building activity and securing jobs within the Australian economy,” Dr Dale said.

In mid-October, the Federal Governmentdoubled the FHOG to $14,000 for established dwellings and tripled it to $21,000 for newly- built homes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the cash rate by four percentage points to 3.25 per cent between September and February. Subsequently, on April 7 the RBA cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to three per cent – a 49-year low.

Dr Dale said the Federal Government should consider whether to stop the boost to the FHOG, as originally planned for June 30.

Loans to first-home buyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sales of units rose by 4.7 per cent to 736 in March, yet sales in the sector were down by 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
The first-home owners’ boost for new dwellings is clearly lifting residential building activity and securing jobs within the Australian economy,” Dr Dale said.

In mid-October, the Federal Governmentdoubled the FHOG to $14,000 for established dwellings and tripled it to $21,000 for newly- built homes.

The Reserve Bank of Australia lowered the cash rate by four percentage points to 3.25 per cent between September and February. Subsequently, on April 7 the RBA cut official interest rates by 25 basis points to three per cent – a 49-year low.

Dr Dale said the Federal Government should consider whether to stop the boost to the FHOG, as originally planned for June 30.

Loans to first-home buyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, according to data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Sales of units rose by 4.7 per cent to 736 in March, yet sales in the sector were down by 14 per cent in the first quarter of 2009.
New home sales rose by 15.2 per cent in New South Wales in March, with Victoria up 14.6 per cent and WA 7.3 per cent higher.

South Australia had a 4.6 per cent fall in new homes sales during March, with Queensland down 16.9 per cent following a 26.2 per cent rise in February.

CommSec economist Savanth Sebastian said the lower mortgage rates and the June 30 first home buyers deadline is likely to boost demand for property in coming months, but prices will be held back to a large extent by worries about job prospects.

CommSec is forecasting unemployment to rise to 6.5 per cent over the next year. The national jobless rate is now at 4.9 per cent.

Loans to first homebuyers posted a record 26.9 per cent of housing approvals in February, Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data showed.

“While the rate of growth in sales reflects to an extent the low base from which a recovery is emerging.

“There is no doubt that the previously mentioned triple boost from low interest rates, stimulus to first-home buyers, and builder discounts have injected some life into a previously moribund new home building market,” the HIA reported.
http://www.inmycommunity.com.au/property/

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