Friday, February 06, 2009

Australia: Childcare Unemployment on the rise?

The United States is officially in recession. Now, Australia is feeling the pinch of it.

With major childcare operators like ABC Learning Centres & CFK already in receivership, it definitely is really a difficult time for casual & relief staff to find work. As early as two months ago, news came about that ABC was trying to poach staff off Careers123 which is contracted to provide relief staff for ABC, and that they were trying find ways of not fulfilling their part of the contract with Careers 123.

Last month, about 241 ABC centres were put up for sale. It is good that they have received over 3300 Expression of Interest since November 2008. At least this goes to show that there are others who are still capable of operating and hiring in what seems to be bad times.

The laying off of so many employees deems that parents who have lost their jobs may no longer be able to send their children to childcare centres. Spending which was "discretionary spending" is no longer a viable luxury. This affects the number of children attending childcare centres, and in turn the number of adults required to meet the children adult ratio. The MAIN reason why casuals & relief staff were needed in the first place in these places.

With so many others out there being laid off work from other fields of work, what was deemed as low paid work, even childcare now may not seem such a bad idea after all. Anything to pay the bills. In fact, if one wants to have a guarantee of having work, locking oneself to a full time job is the only way to do it. Eventhough pay is low. Such is that competition between the casuals and those laid off will make it really difficult to even find any work at all!

The only benefit that I can see out of the recession is that it will teach people to be more appreciative of their work, and to value money. In my short life, my family was hit by the recession in the mid 80s, and one in 1997, when I had just completed high school. Growing adolescents who have been overly pampered by their families will no longer be able to just put a hand out and receive money like they used to.

So work hard you guys! Bosses now have an excuse to retrench, and lay off unproductive workers. Employees who use to whinge that they are being overworked, and have too much paperwork..... think twice before complaining about your employers! It's just really time to tighten our pockets, and watch how we manage & spend our money.

During this time, we are only seeing the start of what is happening to the market now. Hopefully by the time I return to Australia for the purposes of fulfilling my migration requirements, that the dust who have settled by then.

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