Today at ACTU Congress, the Australian Services Union (ASU) and the Finance Sector Union (FSU) will be making a presentation on the state of the white collar sector which throws a spotlight on the crisis facing not just workers in the sector but the Australian economy in general.
The services sector makes up 70% of the Australian economy, and employers in this sector are more profitable than they have ever been. These jobs are highly skilled and important jobs yet thousands of Australian white collar jobs are under threat.
The people doing this work are in administration, banking and finance, they're in payroll and human resources, they deal with your private information in legal and insurance firms, they do all the clerical, administrative and accounting work that supports all industries.
The ASU and FSU have produced a video about the crisis facing this sector to summarise some of the key facts and to personalise the problem with interviews of affected workers. The video will be launched at Congress today and you can watch it here:
With more than 18,000 Australian finance and administration jobs offshored in the last five years, the people in the video represent the merest tip of the iceberg of those affected. The National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (NIEIR) found that 850,000 Australian jobs are at risk to offshoring by 2018, so a lot more pain is ahead for Australia.
And it's not just the workers directly affected who will feel that pain.
As technological change speeds up, Australia needs to have a sector that can keep up, if not set the pace. When jobs are offshored, skills are lost here which leads to a loss of capacity generally. And a loss of capacity leads to more offshoring. It's a vicious cycle that will undermine Australia's ability to stay afloat as a modern economy in the future.
White collar jobs are the Australian jobs of the future. And we have a plan to secure this future.
Immediately we must:
- Review the tax system to remove any incentives or other benefits to offshore;
- Create incentives for companies to maximise our skilled workforce in Australia; and
- Introduce consumer consent legislation so Australians can support local businesses.
You can find out more in the flyer you can download below.
The ASU and FSU have a plan for the sector's future. And we'll be campaigning hard to protect Australian white collar jobs and protect Australia's future.
We have the people, we have the skills - we can't miss this opportunity.