Thursday, 17 December 2015

Sustainable Population through Immigration

Current events in the news sees significant international movements or migration of people for various reasons, pull and push factors etc..  However, be cautious with links of 'population growth' with supposed 'sustainable' or 'steady state' economies, while seguing between international and national data...

From the ABC’s Saturday Extra Radio podcast 12 December 2015

Why we need immigration.  Japan's population began falling in 2004 and is now ageing faster than any other on the planet, despite government efforts to increase the birth rate.
Germany is in a similar position except it is trying to slow population decline by taking in migrants.  Angela Merkel's decision to take 800,000 Syrian refugees was a humanitarian action as well as an economic one.

The world is changing faster than most demographers had expected. Fertility rates are dropping in most countries, a good outcome for those arguing for sustainable population, but not so for the current model for economic growth.

Mike Seccombe’s article in The Saturday Paper Oct 17 2015

Immigration essential to replace populations in critical decline.  Precipitously declining Western populations will not support growth without greatly increasing immigration, bringing with it huge social change. Ultimately, the growth model itself will have to be reconsidered….

…Not now, though. Not in this era of sovereign borders and offshore gulags. These days we turn the tempest-tost around and send them right back where they came from. No one in the developed world believes Adam Smith anymore. Except maybe Angela Merkel.

Related issues:

1. Paul Ehrlich may have popularised population growth in the media, but he is not a demographer. Further, it was not a population bomb but a baby boomer bomb.

2. Ehrlich was in fact on the Rockefeller supported ZPG Zero Population Growth board, with the infamous John Tanton*.

3. What is the definition of (im)migrant and/or (im)migration? The definition changed in 2006 to include temporaries through counting balance of arrivals/departures staying for 12/16+ months i.e. NOM, irrespective of visa, residency or citizenship status. In turn conflation with permanent immigrants is confusing and inflates the headline number, when 'churnover' is a better description. They pay education fees, insurance etc. but majority do not remain to draw pensions etc. because they cannot stay as temps, and decrease per capita state debt.

One of the most significant drivers of population growth (1/3) is not permanent immigration, but longevity of our citizens due to prosperity, even more if temps are removed.

4. Of course there are issues of acceptance and/or integration of immigrants, but not helped when Australian media at best offer only occasional grudging acceptance of immigration nowadays (reflecting their own biases?).

5. Australian media have been prone to Ehrlich and Tantons influence via the systems theory cooked up at The Club of Rome, and promoted by Sustainable Population Australia. Coincidentally Mr. Seccombe cited related expressions 'limits to growth, 'sustainability' etc., and Exxon Mobil.

Same things, (former?) major shareholders of Exxon also hosted the Club of Rome at their estate, Rockefellers, who founded ZPG (following strong interest in genetics, fertility etc.).

6. For an excellent overview of the racist politics around population New Scientist journalist Fred Pearce in 'The Overpopulation Myth' and his book and 'The Population crash...'

*Tanton, an admirer of the white Australia policy, has along with others in the USA been highlighted by ADL and the SPLC for strong 'white nativist' views, 'Tie between anti-immigration movement and eugenics'

Finally, for expert look at population growth statistics and human development Prof Hans Rosling explains in 'The Overpopulation Myth'. 

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Immigration Causes Unemployment?

In recent years, or maybe forever, most people assume immigration equals unemployment, whether that be media, unions, environmentalists, politicians and people in general.

From Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald:

Rise in employment all part of the service sector…..  Population growth is slower because fewer Kiwis are coming to Oz and more are going back home where, for the moment anyway, the economy's prospects are brighter. As well, the end of the mining construction boom means fewer workers and their families are coming in under temporary 457 visas.

If the economy's potential growth rate is lower, that means we can stabilise unemployment at a lower rate of actual growth. In our present circumstances, employment growth is probably being encouraged by the lower dollar and the exceptionally slow growth in wage rates.

Note that when the economy grows more slowly because the population is growing more slowly, we're not left worse off in terms of growth in income per person. But lower immigration does make it easier to get on top of unemployment – something economists prefer not to mention.’

How population growth can make us worse off.  …. Just about every economist, politician and business person is a great believer in a high rate of immigration and a Big Australia. But few of them think about the consequences of that attitude – which does a lot to explain our economic problems.

The latest figures from the Bureau of Statistics show our population grew by 1.4 per cent to 23.6 million in 2014. Less than half this growth came from natural increase (births exceeding deaths), with most of it coming from net migration…. Lower immigration would help reduce a lot of our economic problems – not to mention our environmental problems (but who cares about them?).

Interesting the assumption of a high correlation, and causal link between 'immigration' (in Oz perceived to be and described as high due to conflation with temps) and 'unemployment', so much so that it has become a truism, but is it?

In fact evidence from Australia and internationally shows that immigration actually creates jobs, James Supple in article on Solidarity titled:

'Immigration is not to blame for cuts to jobs and wages. The suggestion that bringing 457 visa workers from overseas is coming at the expense of “local jobs” reinforces the myth that immigration causes unemployment and drives down wages.

'In his book, Immigration and the Australian Economy, William Foster’s surveys over 200 studies on immigration and wages. He found there was:

“a marginally favourable effect on the aggregate unemployment rate, even in recession”.

In a 2003 paper economist Hsiao-chuan Chang wrote in 'Immigration is not to blame for cuts to jobs and wages' that:

“there is no evidence that immigrants take jobs away from the local Australian over the past twelve years… This supports the conclusion from existing research”.

In the past year UK Tory govt. was demonising the EU to appease it's far right loon pond and UKIP (who view the EU as Marxist with its internationalist tendencies), it's internal mobility, especially workers, so it commissioned research on the perceived link..... the report was shelved because it found no correlation (possibly the opposite).

There is another elephant in the room, how many baby boomers are either 'holding chairs' and staying in the workforce longer to top up their super, or to remain active (not a criticism, just an observation)?

More recently in Oz at an ACOSS conference via ABC RN Big Idea 'Jobs of the Future', the real issue was highlighted, although significant unemployment, it's more to do with the mismatch in skills needed for employment now, and the disconnect of the education and training sector with industry (ditto EU, churning out law, economics, arts etc. graduates for 'white collar' careers that no longer exist....)

The advice for anyone young wanting middle class mobility, or wishing to retrain, don't just listen to your friends/family and enroll in higher education for vague outcomes, but do apprenticeships, vocational education and training; more from New York Times 'A New Look at Apprenticeships as Path to the Middle Class'.

For more information about employment, work and jobs in Australia click through here.

Monday, 13 July 2015

Youth Training for Employment

Recent article from The Conversation Australia about issues in preparing Australian youth for vocational education and training, and unemployment:

'Preparing young people for work: do we really have a crisis?  In the last 12 months, Australian governments of all persuasions have alluded to a crisis in how we prepare young people for trade and technical jobs. These concerns come in response to a decline in uptake of apprenticeships and concerns about youth unemployment.

A national framework for vocational education and training (VET) for secondary school students released at the end of 2014 set a clear objective for schools in preparing young people for the world of work.

Governments across the country are announcing funding for state-of-the-art trade training facilities. The federal government is also talking up the importance of closer ties between schools and industry, with the piloting of the controversial P-Tech model.

If the policy objective is to support young people in getting sustainable employment, is building a few new trade training schools the way to go? Do we need greater input from business in schools? Is there really a problem with current approaches to trade training in schools? ……

Australian technical trades vocational education training or TAFE for youth
Study Technical or Vocational Trades Training in Australia

…. A recent study of VET in Schools found vocational education programs in schools should be promoted as a pathway to higher-level post-school VET study, rather than as a pathway directly to jobs without further training.

Achieving this requires greater support for schools in making sure young people understand how to combine a VET in Schools program with their other school studies in a way that gives them the best chance of continuing in post-school training. For example, a student undertaking allied health needs to be doing biology and psychology, and a student hoping to continue into an electrical apprenticeship needs to be doing maths and science.

Strengthening trade training is not simply a question of funding new facilities. While the communities lucky enough to host a new trade training facility would certainly benefit, the resourcing could be better used in supporting schools everywhere to adjust their support of young people, and their use of VET in Schools, in response to the realities of today’s labour market.'

For more information about Australian employment work and jobs click through.

Monday, 29 June 2015

International Education Services

Recently the Department of Education with Minister Christopher Pyne developed a draft national strategy for international education, and since then various news reports have referred to this strategy.  However, many do not view the draft as a strategy but merely a list of aspirations and wishes or objectives, lacking anything about how this strategy should be executed, the ‘emperor has no clothes’?

From the AFR Australian Financial Review: Christopher Pyne jumps on the international educationbandwagon.   Education observed as resource exports fall, the federal government is getting right behind the strongly growing international student business.

It is any wonder that Education Minister Christopher Pyne is very keen to put some focus on Australia's education exports? 

At a time when resource exports are falling, the standout performer among Australia's top export industries is education, worth $17.5 billion a year. To be sure, it's not at the level of coal at about $40 billion, or the top performer iron ore at over $70 billion, but education is the third-largest export, bigger than any other commodity or manufactured export, and ahead of tourism (worth $14.5 billion a year) as a service export.

It also has the virtue of being in a strong growth phase, still lifting strongly after the slump (driven by the high dollar and safety concerns) that set in, in 2010.

Nearly 600,000 were enrolled in onshore educational institutions last year, including 250,000 in universities. This year's total number of student enrolments is 11.2 per cent ahead of last year in the four months up to April.​....

….The commission also focused on the very extensive use of education agents by Australian universities and colleges to recruit international students. "The commission received considerable anecdotal evidence that suggested unscrupulous behaviour of agents is an issue," its report said.

These would be the threats, but there are also opportunities. While Trade Minister Andrew Robb was not at the round table he conveyed, via Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, that he is still backing the ambitious goal that he floated while in opposition, that it is possible for Australia to be educating 10 million international students through online courses.

It's a big goal and we wait with interest to see whether Robb can come up with a strategy to pull it off.’

Fact checking or elaboration on statements accepted as fact from or by politicians, media and the international education industry:

Education exports were growing but were hamstrung or stymied by concerted media campaigns in cooperation with the white nativist lobby stereotyping negatively the international education sector, while leaders in the same sector remained silent.  This negative focus centred around agents, international students, immigration, visas, private colleges, quality standards, population growth impact upon environment and infrastructure, cheating, property prices etc. resulting in visa and immigration restrictions.  However, no one scrutinised the fact that the industry is managed by Australians as is the quality system, visas and immigration, neither international students nor agents.

Highlighting ‘enrolments’ which can be short and multiple for same student and e.g. enrolment for 12 weeks of English cannot compare with 2 years of TAFE or 2+ years of university study.
Agents contracts that neither outline clearly what are the responsibilities of university’ international managers supposedly training and managing agents, and enforcing recruitment targets, that may lead to aggressive promotion, selling and short cuts (while ignoring all digital channels)?

Highlighting MOOCS only shows the digital and technical ignorance of leaders as MOOCS are nothing new; open university, off campus, external, distance and online study have been a fact of life for some time.  If international students are not welcome to study onshore in Australia, why would they bother studying an Australian MOOC vs in country elsewhere, especially when open university degrees etc. are not recognised in many countries?

Marketing strategies are avoided as someone maybe personally responsible, most prefer that strategy and execution is outsourced to external consultants and agents (sales targets)….. begs the question, what are international managers’ core competencies apart from acting on 'approved travel plans' and 'distribution of marketing materials', and ignoring digital analysis, again ‘the emperor has no clothes’?

For more about international education marketing click through to AIEC.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

International Education SEO Marketing

Organic Destination/Course Search vs Paid Offshore Promotional Events/Campaigns.

What is the difference between paid 'outbound' conventional events or digital campaigns via AdWords etc., and organic 'inbound' SEO for course and destination search?

Google search results for generic search has paid 'outbound' adverts on right and top, while the main game are the trusted 'inbound' organic search results all year round due to well SEO website.

Inbound Organic SEO Marketing - Outbound Paid (Digital) Marketing Campaigns

21st century main game  -  20th century redundant

Bottom up  -  Top down

Inbound digital skills  -  Physical size and budget

Informed by client feedback  -  Informed by management

Direct access to MIS/analytics  -  Managed by 'web marketing team'

Authentic marketing content  - Official advertising copy

Know how and digital culture  -  Administrative management 'box ticking'

Resources on multiple channels  -  Gambling resources on one channel

Access to many diverse markets  -  Focus on fewer big markets

Multiple markets simultaneously -  Physical location at one time

Highly targeted  -  Vague correlation

Long term marketing  -  Short term sales

Grow market 'cake'  -  Preserve market 'cake'

Lower but relevant traffic  -  Higher untargetted traffic/interest

Custom search results  -  Promoting or pushing school

Economic over time  -  Expensive 'one off' budget

Accumulating marketing content  -  Use by date on marketing materials

Continuous activity -  Stop/start

Objective outlook  -  Subjective outlook

Rich qualitative market intelligence  -  Quantitative data (if analysed)

Evaluation of ongoing quantitative  -  Evaluation of campaign or 'event'  

Organic  -  Artificial

Cumulative increase in visibility  -  'One- off' event or 'spike'

Open and transparent  -  Closed and opaque            

Multilingual  -  Mostly English only

All state bodies and institutions' international marketing should be encouraged to conduct emerging market development, not mature market development where there is already visiblity. 

This should include producing a comprehensive digital and SEO marketing strategy outlining who is responsible, architecture of their web and social media networks, digital KPIs, development of 'marketing content' and incidental or related media releases (for website, blogs and social media) informed by students and stakeholders, that can be found online internationally.

Examples of stakeholders include prospective or existing students, faculty, agents, admissions, international managers and IT/web teams, in relevant languages, focused on course and destination search optimisation or SEO, with goals/targets analysed via analytics, and on campus students asked 'how did you find us and which online channels did you use?'.

For more information and resources in international education marketing click through.