Archive for the ‘Unemployment’ category

Australia Under Attack – Worthless Credentials Needed

March 30, 2004

ASIO is on the recruitment trail. Just the perfect opportunity for a young RWDB who’s allergy to grass prevented him from joining the RAAF. Or so you’d think

Given the challenging and complex nature of our work, we are looking for people with sound judgement, who excel at both critical thinking and communication.

More specifically, you would have:

  • The ability to talk with, and listen to, people from all cultures and walks of life.
  • Conceptual skills which allow you to discern the big picture.
  • Critical thinking and research skills, which enable you to accurately fill the gaps.
  • The ability to write reports which are clear, concise, comprehensive and tailored to your readers.

You should also be confident, versatile, mentally resilient and prepared to undergo extensive background checks, as well as security and psychological assessments.

Sounds right up my alley. Just one more thing though:

Other than the general profile above, you will need:

A four-year degree (or the equivalent) – in any discipline.

Credentialism at it’s finest. I’m not eligible to apply, but a recent graduate of any discipline – which presumably includes women’s studies or surfing science – is.

You don’t need a degree to be an intelligence officer in the ADF. Why do you need one to be an intelligence officer at ASIO?

Yobbo Jobbo

October 2, 2003

ChrisV has got himself a job being a professional nerd. I tried this out myself on occasion, but I found that too much freedom makes for a very lazy Yobbo. By some strange twist of astrology, it seems that both ChrisV and myself will be working tomorrow AT THE SAME TIME.

Mark this date on your calendars, it isn’t likely to happen again any time soon.

Having an extremely large penis isn’t the only similarity between myself and Orwell’s favourite horse “Boxer”, as tomorrow I will be joining the ranks of the filthy proletariat and building myself a windmill. And by “windmill” I mean “house”.

For some reason a friend of mine thought I would be the ideal man to help him carry around some planks. I decided to get “The Don” off my back I had better accept the offer. At least I can then say I’ve contributed something to society except for this increasingly pissweak blog.

Never fear though, for after a quick stop by the Worker’s bar on the way home, I’m sure I will find some time to blog about something tomorrow after work. Probably about how I was always wrong and that how we should strive for social justice and let in all the asylum seekers and save the trees and love Allah and such things.

P.S. Did I mention I’m drunk? Because I am. Goodnight!

Bloggers Needed. Degree Preferred…

July 21, 2003

Adam points to a new position available at Google, offering customer support for the new Blogger service. I gave the ad a quick scan to see how qualified I would be for the position.

Of course, the position is in California, so I’m not actually going to apply, but this is an exercise I like to do anyway, just to confirm that I may possibly get a job one day.

Skills and experiences you’ll need to do the job well:

Have kept a blog* for at least 6 months and be passionate about online, personal publishing.

Seems to make sense. After all, it’s a blogging-specific position. Having run a blog yourself could come in quite handy…

Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

I have never seen a job ad that didnt specify this requirement. Why is it even necessary to ask? Surely the interviewer could tell if a person’s communications skills aren’t up to scratch?

Ability to collaborate across multiple departments and groups.

Wouldn’t this come under “Being a functioning member of society”?

Prior customer service experience.

This could be actually useful. On the other hand, serving customers isn’t exactly rocket science. This is kind of related to “communication skills”.

Knowledge of HTML, CSS, FTP and personal web hosting.

An actual skill! It’s good to know that skills are sometimes still required to get jobs nowadays.

This next one is the kicker though…

BS/BA preferred.

Ah the good old “Must have degree, even if unrelated to job in any way” clause. Now, it’s only preferred, which is code for “We’ll take the degree in a close race”, but even so…

In what way would having a random degree in science or arts make you a better customer service officer? If I have a bachelor of science in Horticulture, why am I more qualified than the guy who blogged away while mowing lawns for a living?

It’s probably nice for the guy who just graduated from his 3 year investigation into Women’s Issues to know that he is now qualified to email people and tell them where they stuffed their code up, but did it really make him a better programs co-ordinator?

It really puzzles me no end why employers insist on having every employee being university educated. Wouldn’t it be more important to have someone who actually knows what they are doing and works hard? Who’s going to be the better employee…The 21 year old who’s been working at Blockbuster for the last 4 years while running the Video Blog, or a 21 year old who recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy? I know who I’d pick.

It’s because of this mentality that the university system is such a drain on public money. People feel they have to attend university just to get ANY kind of job. It’s a pretty common practice to just apply for whatever course is easiest in the hope of graduating with little fuss and finally making it to the workforce in 3-4 years time. The vast majority of graduates never again use a single thing they learned in their studies in the workplace.

In my view the companies that demand every last shitkicker have a degree are just as much at fault as anyone in perpetuating the degree inflation that is spiralling out of control everywhere you look. The thing I can’t work out is…what’s in it for them?

The only people that stand to gain anything from the irrelevant degree factories are the faux academics that teach them. The losers are, as usual, the taxpaying public AND companies that fund them with their taxes.

You have to practice what you preach. The same business leaders that decry the public funding of humanities and other such degrees of little relevance are the ones that hire “recruitment consultants” who invariably value a meaningless degree higher than any actual skill or aptitude testing.

Here’s a thought: How about hiring people on merit rather than making them jump through infinite hoops? Unless, of course, you are running a circus, where hoop jumping would be a useful skill. Note: You now need a degree to join a circus.

Double Standards

July 9, 2003

All those commentators who think that the Big Brother technician should be sacked for his “fat” remark, get a load of this:

ONE of Queensland’s new fire ant control officers has been on sick leave for more than a year and faces a life of continuing medical problems after he was allegedly kicked in the groin by his female boss.

Rob Harvatt, 33, claims he and a group of colleagues ? including his female team leader ? had stopped at a service station on the way to a job at Pallara, in Brisbane’s western outskirts in April 2002.

He says the team leader kicked him between the legs from behind while he was leaning into a work vehicle, her shoe hitting his groin and creating massive swelling. He stopped working a few days later.

Mr Harvatt has since had two operations to remove infected lumps in his groin and suffers from abscesses.

And what action was taken against his boss? Well, Nothing:

The woman remains employed by the Primary Industries Department.

Mr Harvatt said he reported the matter to the DPI but one of his superiors “laughed it off”. Police are now investigating.

Woman kicking a bloke in the nuts with stilettos so hard he needs an operation: Funny!

Bloke uttering the word “fat” when a hyper-sensitive fat woman is around: UNFORGIVABLE!

Good News For Backpackers

June 29, 2003

The UK Government has decided to relax some of the restrictions on Working Holiday Visas for Australian tourists.

The changes are:

1) All work restrictions in the UK will be removed – Previously the rule was you couldn’t work in “an industry or occupation that you worked in for x time in Australia.” That is, you weren’t supposed to further your career under a working holiday visa – just earn a bit of cash for beer. If you were an Accountant at home, you have to work in a pub in England and vice versa.

2) The upper age limit for WHMs will be extended from 27 to 30 – This is especially good news for me, as it means I might actually still have time to do the London thing when I finish my degree.

3) WHMs will be permitted to switch to a work permit visa after one year in the UK – This is probably the most significant change of all. Previously, if you got a job in the UK and parlayed it into the beginning of a career, you had to leave the country and sit through a “cooling off” period before getting a proper work visa. The previous situation made employers very wary of employing backpackers in career-oriented positions, because they got the feeling they were just training them for someone else.

As I said, pretty good news. Also, they are probably too busy looking for terrorists nowadays to hassle us so much at Heathrow. Aussies used to get the very large and blunt end of stick of the profiling there.

(note, this post goes in “Unemployment” because I don’t have a category for “Employment”. Perhaps I should change that…)

Hear Hear

June 26, 2003

As a young person who has experienced the ridiculously patronising “Mutual Obligation” scheme up close and personal, I couldn’t agree more with the sentiments of Gerard Jackson:

The Government’s idea of a diary for the unemployed is stupid, costly and lacks compassion. It assumes, against overwhelming evidence, that there is a large body of dole recipients who are not really seeking work. Yet how can Howard, Costello and Vanstone, possibly suggest such a body of parasites exist when the ratio of unemployed greatly exceeds the number of vacancies?

The best that can be said for these ministers attitude is that it reveals a stunning ignorance of the cause of our widespread persistent unemployment.

Quite simply, the unemployed have been priced out of work. So long as markets are allowed to clear the present type of unemployment cannot persist. Instead of kicking the unemployed, Vanstone should start kicking union leaders and their mates in the arbitration commission who are responsible for the present level of unemployment.

Steve Edwards has more.

Soldiers Wanted (Kinda)

April 29, 2003

I’m not the only one who has been rejected from the Australian Defence Force for no particular reason:

Mat Houston, 28, from Coolum Beach, on the Sunshine Coast, said the Australian Army advised him 12 months ago that he had been accepted.

But on April 11 he received a rejection letter from the Defence Force Recruiting Organisation just one day after getting his final congratulatory acceptance letter.

The rejection letter blamed Mr Houston’s neck tattoo, which he says represents his Chinese birthmark plus a lotus flower, which he had done about two years ago and which extends slightly above his collar line.

“Apparently they (tattoos) are not allowed to be seen,” Mr Houston said.

When I was waiting to be called in the 6-10 hours of testing I undertook during my application, I passed the time reading a bit of ADF literature.

A common theme seemed to be the frustration in losing so many capable, trained employees to the private sector.

Maybe it wouldn’t be such a big problem if they didn’t keep rejecting people for reasons like this.

(Link thanks to James Russell)