Economy

Agri-business not attractive… Online beauty sales climb… Migrant skills overlooked… Quote of the day

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Agri-business not attractive

Perceptions of low wages and a lack of clear career paths are turning students off agri-business. A drought lasting 10 years and the threat of climate change has probably not helped either.

New figures from the Department of Education, Science and Training show that there has been a 30% decline in enrolments in agricultural courses in Australian universities over the last five years.

The department is predicting a major shortage of scientists, including agricultural scientists, in Australia in coming years.

Ten universities concerned about declining enrolments have responded by setting up the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture to encourage more students to study agricultural science.

 

Women go online for beauty

According to a recent survey from market research firm NPD Group, reported by Brandweek, online beauty sales now comprise 4%, or $1.7 billion, of the $42 billion beauty industry.

The survey received responses from more than 15,000 women aged 18 to 64, of which 4100 claimed to have bought beauty products online in the past 12 months.

Just over 40% of online cosmetic shoppers were aged between 45 and 64, while 18 to 34 year old women constituted 36% of online buyers. Across all age brackets, 43% of internet beauty shoppers said that they spent more on online cosmetics purchases in 2006 than 2005. Online shoppers were also more likely to earn more than $75,000 a year than conventional shoppers.

The key reason respondents gave for online shopping was convenience, with 70% of respondents agreeing it was “easier/quicker to shop online than in a store”.

The top five most popular beauty retailers were Drugstore.com, Sephora.com, Avon.com, Clinique.com and BathandBodyWorks.com.

 

Migrant workers overlooked by skills-hungry employers

Despite Australia’s skills shortage, many workers are forced to accept positions that are beneath their skill levels and experience, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

A recent report by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation & Development found that migrant workers are more likely to be overqualified for their positions than other groups. And they are estimated to be over-qualified by 20%.

Part of the problem is a lack of understanding by Aussie bosses of what foreign qualifications mean. The rest of the problem is plain and simple discrimination against people not born here.

 

SmartCompany Quote of the Day

“There is an immutable conflict at work in life and in business, a constant battle between peace and chaos. Neither can be mastered, but both can be influenced. How you go about that is the key to success.”
Philip Knight, founder, Nike

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