“Australia is losing ground as a smart economy, and lacks the infrastructure in place to compete in research and development” says the “Australia’s competitiveness declines” article from the AICD . Interestingly business efficiency … has dropped 10 places in five years with productivity and efficiency highlighted as key weak areas.
“The two areas where Australia slipped the most in this category was technological infrastructure and scientific infrastructure.”
As someone who recruits in the manufacturing, supply chain, engineering and scientific areas evidence of this decline is manifest. We see an increased number of candidates looking for fewer roles in this sector, candidates looking for a safe haven in other areas, talented line managers seeking or being forced into “consulting” (mainly intermittent jobs). Talented science graduates, from Australia and recent immigrants with no where to go.
Two years ago I attended a recruitment conference in Beijing with NPAWorldwide and was fortunate to attend a session by the advisor to the Chinese government on Manpower Planning. It is a fully integrated plan from determining university courses, graduates in specific disciplines, use of expat professionals from other countries, what numbers of people that will be required in specific industry segments up to 10 years out. Other countries have similar plans in place as well as other policies to promote industry and science in their economies (e.g. Singapore, Switzerland).
In thinking about our situation in Australia it caused me to reflect on two tenets I learnt as a young engineer. “ fail to plan..plan to fail” “have a plan …any plan” . As a recruiter looking at our political leadership, they may be competent in deciding what to do but appear ill equipped on knowing how.
Blog Posted by Garry King, Director – June 2015