submitted by Sydney Morning Herald on 06.04.2016
Sydney Morning Herald Date: April 4, 2016
Anna Patty is a renowned journalist of Kytherian descent. Joanna Tsakiridis has taught Australian-Kytherian children Greek Dancing in Sydney for many years. (This is another one of her talents).
Glazing: the job of the future
Joanna Tsakiridis, one of just 22 female glaziers in Australia, is among the skilled workers in growing demand.
Joanna Tsakiridis started working as a receptionist in a business she loved so much she decided to buy it.
She went from sending invoices to making huge glass windows in her own factory - from receptionist to skilled tradeswoman in less than five years.
The opportunity to buy the Petersham aluminium and joinery business seemed too good to pass up for the single mother.
Glazier Joanna Tsakiridis Photo: Steven Siewert
"Now we manufacture as well as install... and I have a receptionist of my own," said Ms Tsakiridis, one of just 22 female glaziers in Australia.
"I feel more involved now that I'm a tradie, rather than sitting behind a desk and just selling a product.
"I love it. It's one of the best things I've done, doing the hands-on work."
It also came as a surprise that the glazing industry would experience a boom in growth.
The federal government is reviewing its skilled occupations list which identifies professions and trades that appear almost future proof: where the jobs will be - and where they won't.
Glaziers and floor installers are among skilled workers in growing demand.
When Ms Tsakiridis bought her business, she knew all she needed to know about sales. But she felt the need to learn more about the trade. The business was installing ready made products, but it now makes its own windows at a factory Ms Tsakiridis established in Kingsgrove.
"I thought I should learn more about the business and how to cut glass," she said.
In 2014, she completed a course at Lidcombe TAFE where she learned how to cut glass, manufacture windows, timber sides and small security doors.
"I did my training at the same level as the guys. I loved it," she said. "The only restriction was lifting things into place, but we have machines for that."
In its submission to the government review which determines Australia's future skills needs, the Australian Glazing and Glass Association says the building design industry is making much greater use of glass in new constructions.
"Glass is being used a lot more in building than ever before," says the association's national training manager, Patrick Gavaghan. "It is such a good flexible product to work with.
"Architects and designers just love it. We can make it reflect or contain heat and it looks very good.
"The more technical the glass gets, the more technical the skills are required by the glazier."
Mr Gavaghan said there are about 22 female glaziers in Australia.
"Glazing now is a really good trade for females because they have a good eye for detail," he said.
FLOOR COVERING INSTALLERS:
The Carpet Institute of Australia has also identified growing demand for carpet and floor covering installers who are in short supply around the country.
In its submission to the government review it says employers have reported that a "chronic and worsening shortage of floor finishers is adversely impacting their businesses in various ways".
"Independent skilled migration has a role to play in reducing the magnitude of the chronic under-supply of suitably qualified floor finishers, which affects flooring contractors, the residential housing and construction industries, flooring retailers, flooring manufacturers and distributors and consumers," the submission says.
The accounting industry will also welcome overseas students who have provided a boon to the Australian economy.
Organisations representing accountants say there are more than 39,000 international students enrolled in accounting degrees contributing more than $1.7 billion to the economy.
The Accounting and Finance Association of Australia and New Zealand warns that "if significant changes were to be made to eligibility of foreign accountants for migration to Australia this would have undesirable impacts on universities and the economy".
The Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand says there are shortages of experienced accountants which can be "dealt with through employer nominated entry 457 visas".
"In the medium term of 10 or so years, openings for accountants in accountant jobs of around 11,000 per annum appear likely," the submission says.
But some medical organisations, which have in the past been the subject of Australian Competition and Consumer Commission scrutiny into "closed shop" practices, are seeking removal from the skilled occupation list.
DOCTORS AND NURSES:
GPs and other medical professionals are seeking to close the door to skilled migrants on the basis that they will be oversupplied with domestic graduates.
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners president Frank Jones said the number of medical graduates has almost doubled in the past decade.
"Due to these increases, the RACGP has recommended close monitoring not only of general practitioners, but non-spet international medical graduates in Australia providing general practice services," he said.
"The RACGP believes that an opportunity exists to utilise the increasing number of local graduates, thereby reducing Australia's reliance on international medical graduates to fill service gaps in general practice."
The Australian & New Zealand College of Anaesthetists predicts an oversupply of anaesthetists in 2016 and a balance in supply and demand by 2025.
The College of Intensive Care Medicine of Australia and New Zealand also says it represents an occupation "very likely to be in a position of oversupply in the medium to long term".
And the college representing obstetricians and gynaecologists says it is well positioned to meet demand over the next five to 10 years.
However, surgeons say there is an increasing need for their skills in rural and regional areas. Psychiatrists also report an acute shortage in rural and remote parts of the country. There is also a maldistribution of speech pathologists and demand for spets.
Nursing and aged care associations have identified significant shortages in the next 10 years, linked to the ageing population and the increasing complexity in health needs.
The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation says that while rural and remote areas are struggling to fill positions for nurses, there is hot competition for specialty jobs including nurse managers, researchers and educators.
The Australian Dental Association reports that newly graduated dentists are having trouble finding full-time work.
Optometrists also say their profession will be oversupplied in the short term.
COMMUNITY SERVICE WORKERS AND AGED CARE PROVIDERS:
The long-term projections for aged and community care services suggest major growth in the need for these skills.
Master Builders Australia says that demand for managers and workers in construction will "significantly exceed domestic supply over the medium-to-long-term".
The Housing Industry Association also reports "widespread shortages of appropriately skilled trades workers in the construction industry".
The number of job openings for electricians is also expected to be high over the next five years, according to Master Electricians Australia.
Generations Y and Z are steering away from bricklaying and towards higher education, according to The Australian Brick & Blocklaying Training Foundation.
"We have seen a consistent trend away from the trade through our regular contact with students, parents, career teachers and employment agencies," its submission says.
"There is evidence of shortages of brick and blocklayers across the country."
The foundation says skilled workers from overseas are still needed and brick laying should remain on the skilled occupations list.
The number of job openings for electricians is expected to be high over the next five years, according to Master Electricians Australia.
Demand for architects is also expected to remain strong in coming years.
The dairy industry is reporting a "chronic skilled labour shortage" of skilled and experienced farm workers.
Teacher unions and school principals have reported a continuing oversupply of primary school teachers and an undersupply of secondary maths, science and technology teachers. There is also a shortage of special education and language teachers.
A spokeswoman for the Federal Department of Education and Training said The Skilled Occupations List identifies occupations that would benefit from independent skilled migration to meet the medium to long-term needs of the country's economy.
The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection – on advice from the Department of Education - will decide any changes to the list.
"An occupation is typically flagged for removal from the list where labour market indicators are mixed but suggest an oversupply," the spokeswoman said. "Currently none of the medical practitioner occupations, including general practitioners are in the flagged category. Accountants were flagged in 2015."
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