03 November 2011

you don't get me i'm part of the union

A couple of things struck me as I read this article.
First, evidently it's OK to refer to the The Association of Professional Engineers, Scientists and Managers (APESMA) as a "union". Valuing consistency as I do, I expect the ABC to also use the "union" word when it next refers to the Australian Medical Association. I mean, they are both associations of professionals, are they not? Somehow, I don't like my chances.
Second, and for a moment disregarding who said what to whom but accepting that somewhere in the murky midst there is a skerrick of truth to the article that design responsibilities will be sent offshore at some indeterminate future point, where does that leave Australian industry policy?
For those who have more interesting things in which to dabble, I should point out that "industry policy" as she has been practised in these parts for some decades has been that low value-added ("metal bashing") has gone offshore while Australia retains the vital higher value, more knowledge-intensive work.
Hah. Do we train as many engineers as China and India, even on a per capita basis?
So, what's the new policy? Well, once wages and costs in the "developing" countries get high enough, they'll need to outsource their low value added manufacturing.
At that time I suspect Lee Kuan Yew's comment about "poor white trash of Asia" might start to look fairly applicable.

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