Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A Shortage of Skilled Labour

In the posting just above this one [but dated after this one so it appears on top of this one], the shortage of mining engineers is described. That is not the only area of labour shortages in Australia [thanks to BrianF for the link].

EMPLOYERS are blaming the lack of skilled tradespeople in Australia on an inflexible apprenticeship system that demands four years' training on low wages.They also say the time apprentices are required to spend off the work site in courses such as TAFE – in many cases two days a week – makes hiring them more trouble than it is worth.

Industry groups are pushing for shorter apprentice schemes to get workers qualified and on to full salaries more quickly and to reduce the high apprentice drop-out rate.

Who do you think might object to fast-tracking the training of skilled labourers? Here is one part of the answer.

But union intransigence on the traditional broad four-year apprenticeship scheme was also hampering both employers and aspiring apprentices.

A shortage of skilled workers at current wage rates should certainly make it easier to negotiate higher wage rates in the future. Why would people who had already completed their apprenticeship want to make it easier for the supply curve to shift to the right?
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