back to article Australia shuts up shop for tech temps

That idea you've entertained to enjoy a year or two working in Australia, which hasn't had a recession since the early 1990s, boasts an unemployment rate of just 5.6 per cent, sun galore, beautiful beaches and a shortage of tech workers? Dream on, Reg readers: Australia is clamping down on temporary foreign workers and the “ …


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  1. leeCh

    So just take the usual solution then

    Do what everyone else does in this circumstance.

    Move to New Zealand

    Get your Kiwi citizenship (there are fast track options that don't need bribery)

    Move to Australia any time you want, NZer's get an automatic 444 visa. Plus you're automatically someone's friend - It's a requirement that all Australian's have to have a Kiwi mate.

    Added bonus:

    As a Kiwi citizen you get to go pretty well anywhere on the planet without the visa hassles that UK, US and now Aus citizens get. . . . Akthough a lot of those places you probably don't want to go to anyway.

    1. TheVogon

      Re: So just take the usual solution then

      The problem with that is "Move to New Zealand"

      Personally I don't have the required Velcro Gloves and Wellington Boots to get on with the locals....

      1. leeCh

        Re: So just take the usual solution then

        Well ... some sacrifices must be made ...

        But if you're afraid of sheep then why move to Australia? There are more sheep here than in NZ. Plus for all the South Africans here, the butt of sheep shagging jokes (pun intended) are Australians.

        There are some benefits to NZ. They mostly revolve around food, alcohol and extreme sports (bungy jumping with hobbits etc.). So actually it makes a nice stop off for the required number of years until you can get the keys to the front door of Oz (AKA NZ passport).

        Why the guy from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? Because he was Australian, although why he simply didn't drug the little tykes by force feeding them XXXX I don't know.

        And also because they don't have an icon of Pauline Hanson (and no Paris won't do as a substitute for Pauline).

  2. Mark 65

    The system is abused. Look for IT jobs on and you'll find plenty that want "5-10 years c++, Java, and C# with team lead" but only want to pay a grad wage. "Skills shortage" they cry. An end-run around the system if ever I saw one.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      If the prices ain't rising, that just means these companies are up bad creek without a paddle. They NEED skills but they can't PAY for them (while banks seems to have so much free cash that they can hoover up the skills and need not even put them to work). They will be floating downriver in the upcoming economic adjustment. I would go long on the popcorn.

      1. Mark 65

        You'd like to be generous and think that but the number of IT 457s reveals the real story. I've witnessed it first hand with roles at the company I used to work for advertised at rates nobody would work for. You'll never get anyone on that rate we all said. Surprise surprise a couple of months later a man from Bangalore turns up on a 457 to do the role. It's the way they currently roll. It may be protectionist but, within reason (i.e. not seeing rates explode), you do need to look after the locals. It seems strange to me that IT workers get dumped on by the 457 but plumbers, builders, and sparkies have got their market sewn up tighter than a gnat's chaff.

  3. NinjasFTW

    election year

    Its an election year with the incumbent government looking likely to be removed by a huge majority.

    Once the election is over normal service will resume.

  4. Shagbag

    Dream on...

    "hasn't had a recession since the early 1990s"

    ie. it's due for one. China has stopped buying. The AUD is down from its highs against all the major currencies. The RBA has cut interest rates 4 times in the last 12 months.

    "boasts an unemployment rate of just 5.6 per cent"

    6 months ago it was 5.4.

    12 months ago it was 5.1.

    "sun galore"

    Just like southern Spain/France/Italy/Greece.

    "beautiful beaches"

    Just like southern Spain/France/Italy/Greece.

    "shortage of tech workers"

    Just like the 'shortage of tech workers' in London's Silicon Roundabout - it's about about price.

    "That idea you've entertained to enjoy a year or two working in Australia" - it's just a dream. You should've gone in 1990. You've now missed the boat.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Dream on...

      > The RBA has cut interest rates 4 times in the last 12 months.

      Aha, the Keynesian Witch Doctors are out, frantically applying leeches and prescribing mercury concoctions. I hope they are at least beating drums.

      And, guess what:

      Skyscraper Index fingers Melbourne

      The Skyscraper Index is a concept put forward in January 1999 by Andrew Lawrence, research director at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, which showed that the world’s tallest buildingshave risen on the eve of economic downturns. Business cycles and skyscraper construction correlate in such a way that investment in skyscrapers peaks when cyclical growth is exhausted and the economy is ready for recession. Mark Thornton’s Skyscraper Index Model successfully sent a signal of the Late-2000s financial crisis at the beginning of August 2007.


      The Victorian Government has given the go-ahead for plans for the tallest building in the southern hemisphere.

      The 388-metre high, 108-storey hotel and apartment building is planned for Melbourne’s Southbank area.

      Melbourne City Council had opposed the project due to fears it would cast a shadow over the Shrine of Remembrance.

      But the Planning Minister, Matthew Guy, says most of council’s concerns have been addressed and the shrine trustees support the project.

      Yup, the Big One's coming all right.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Take the blue pill! Yes, you!

        Hmm... thumbs down?

        I sure hope you guys are on government-reimbursed Xanax.

        It's not hard to grok. It's like the new pond & flagpole construction in front of representative offices of companies that are pining for the fjords the next time you look.

    2. rtb61

      Re: Dream on...

      Australia due to ample space can readily boost the economy by allowing more migration of affluent migrants from wealthy countries, those seeking that greater space and a weather change.

      Prices are high in Australia basically because companies can get away with higher profit margins, as always direct import remains an option to skip the middle man.

      Basically if snow is really starting to grate on your nerves and the crime in the US is perturbing, then try to make the jump. Easier migration is available by paying attention to State sponsored migration permanent non 457. Business's make application to their state governments and the state government can then sponsor immigrants to fill those positions.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Don't forget the other things

    Deadly poisonous spiders & snakes

    Giant man eating crocodiles & sharks

    Backpacker killers

    Horribly restrictive drinking laws

    Skin cancer

    Government censorship and firewalls

    2x markup on imported goods


  6. RealFred

    Just as well

    And its about time. There are numerous layoffs of IT Workers happening and been happening over the last 6 months. Get the ones made redundant working and then start thinking about bringing in outside workers, not before. The skills shortages that businesses have been bullshitting about is rubbish, all they want to do is offshore for cheaper labour and not invest in their workforce. Its now coming back to bite them in the arse as consumers don't want to talk with people who they can hardly understand

  7. knarf

    The cost of the place is unreal

    Been there for a few weeks over last few xmas and the cost of goods is unreal.

    A single lime in super market $3 (£2)

    Loaf of bread about $5 (£3)

    Case of beer $60

    I was in a Northface shop and asked how much a pair of trainers where; $250 which happened to be the exact pair I was wearing and got in blighty for less than £50.

    The wages might look good but they will soon get eroded fast.

    1. breakfast Silver badge

      Re: The cost of the place is unreal

      I just came back from Sydney. I know it's expensive even by local standards but good grief.

      It's as though they thought that a pound was still worth about $2.50 and priced everything accordingly, little suspecting that it is now worth about half that. I suppose the aussies must be very confused in this regard or they would doubtless have sorted it out.

      This does mean that if you earn a regular wage in Australia, you can probably afford to buy England.

  8. rperthboy

    Govt skills shortage does not reflect reality

    The Govt 's list of skill shortages does not reflect reality. It is really hard to get an IT job in Australia. You have to have perfect match in skills. The only shortage is for cheap and easy to exploit employees. When I was unemployed (work in IT) , industry and govt were crying about skills shortage and flying them in by the plane load. Enrolments for university IT courses for locals dropped significantly, because there are no longer any entry level jobs - all gone offshore. Only foreigners do IT courses in Oz because it was a shortcut to permanent residence. Props up the university sector. On top of that, they bring in lots of IT people from countries where qualifications are bought and corruption is rife.

    1. Doddsy

      Re: Govt skills shortage does not reflect reality

      Crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. We have been attempting to hire network architects, engineers and pre-sales consultants and quite frankly the candidates that we have been shown whether Australian or International have been poor. Yes we do have high standards and pay accordingly.

      However as someone who has been in the industry for over 20 years and has had to work hard on his knowledge and skills, the amount of candidates with allegedly 5+ years networking experience I interview that get tripped up on simple IP theory is staggering. I blame Google. Not for stealing all the good employees but making mediocre IT people think they are awesome by searching or IOS commands and pasting them into a terminal window.

      The jobs are out there, quality candidates are not.

      1. Bernd Felsche

        Re: Govt skills shortage does not reflect reality

        Unfortunately, quality candidates are often filtered out by hiring monkeys as the candidates will typically not be ticking as many boxes as those who think they know what they're doing.

      2. rperthboy

        Re: Govt skills shortage does not reflect reality

        The market has been flooded now, people are turning off IT. Look at declining uni enrolments, why is that? Because of offshoring and poor job prospects. You expect people to train themselves at their own expense, do you offer to train people ? Bet not. What incentive is there to continuously study for no guaranteed return when there will be a PHd's from India with lots more experience.

  9. Graeme Sutherland

    Permanent Residence

    It's not that hard for an IT professional to get permanent residence. It'll take about a year from start to finish, but has a lot fewer restrictions than a 457.

    A few years back programmers were on a critical skills list, and you'd have gone to the head of the queue. Not sure what the situation is now.

  10. Sampler

    Must be a lucky one

    My 457 came through yesterday, with my partner added to be able to work too - just need to find the sun lotion and hop on the plane now =)

    1. Bernd Felsche

      Re: Must be a lucky one

      Bring your wet weather gear and lots of warm clothing.

  11. David Hicks

    S'alright, I've a 157...

    So I'm golden. 'course the mutterings up-thread about the cost of the place are spot on.

    The money's great but so are the expenses. Mind you the sun comes out more than twice a year over there.

  12. RealFred

    typical poms, whinge, whinge whinge. You must have been shopping in the city. No-one pays $3 for a lime, unless you're a tourist. At least we can get fresh vegetables and decent food here, unlike in old blighty, where the food is stodgy and so are the people.

    1. Mark 65

      Ah, that'd be funny if it weren't so wrong. The "fresh fruit and vegetables" have more often than not been floating around in Woollies or Coles cold storage for months. It may look fresh but often is anything but. Oh, and it's overpriced.

      1. RealFred

        Only tourists and people who don't know better buy fresh fruit and vegetables from Coles and Woolies. The locals get their fresh food elsewhere. Maybe you all should get out of the cities and actually take a look around Australia. Sydney is for tourists and fools.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OZ companies should do what the Brits do.

    OZ companies can get around the visa cap the same way the British companies are doing it. Outsource to a an indian Consultancy (Wipro, TCS etc) then pay over the odds for staff, get a reverse invoice discount that is returned to the British companies Indian division and then return the money to the UK as an investment. Company Tax cleaned as a 100% expense, no National Insurance Necessary and Human Capital is now zero risk.

    I think all IT contractors should setup companies in India and 'transfer price' their entire earnings to the Offshore base as "consulting expenses". That way no money can ever be taxed by western governments, their economies will begin to fail and only then will they probably start thinking about starting to think about the possibly calling a vote to agree about the probability of the possibility of enforcing the idea of making some legislative changes, oh whoops it looks like there is another government in power....

  14. Rattus Rattus

    "Australia's left-wing government"

    I'm sorry, what? In what universe is our present government "left-wing"? Gillard's Labor are a little to the right of centre. The only way they could ever be described as "left" is by comparison with the hard-right screwballs comprising most of the Liberals' leadership.

  15. Sam Paton

    Haha left wing.

    Aussie politics: Centre right, far right and ooo that Hitler fellow's a bit lax on immigration isn't he.

    Nice to see the current lot following Gordon Browns lead and still not managing to balance the budget during a growth period though. Eejits.

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