UPfront Two decades in Oz…

Jobs are less secure, more pressured and lower paid, according to recently released report on the “Future of Work” in Australia.

Compiled by the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Training, the report looks at two decades of “enormous change” in the workplace and its implications. Major trends include:
* Work casualisation – only 55 percent of Aussie workers have permanent employment, by 2010 it’s expected third of the workforce will be casual, many more are self-employed or work on contract.
* Work intensification – people are working longer (but often unpaid) hours; under-staffing, expanded workloads, and accelerated work pace are increasing lifestyle stresses.
* Work-life balance – the increase in two-income families (and work intensification) make it harder to balance work and family/community commitments.
* Job inequality – the bulk of new jobs are low-paid and casual, the upper end of the job market is earning more and there’s “hollowing out” of middle income occupations.
* Reduced investment in training.

The report said “new standards of flexibility are needed to combat widening inequality and allow workers to exercise genuine choices to manage their household circumstances, life transitions and aspirations”.

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