In the Graduate Pathways Survey report, authors Hamish Coates and Daniel Edwards say:
…some commentators on graduate supply and workforce projections argue that the solutions to filling the skills gaps are not in boosting the training effort in Australia, but instead making sure all those who have university qualifications are utilising their skills sufficiently. Research by Norton (2007) indicates that a large number of graduates in Australia are not currently employed in ‘graduate occupations’. Norton argues that if these people’s skills were utilised, there would be no shortfall in highly skilled workers in most occupations in Australia. While this argument relating to the ‘over-qualification’ of the Australian population is not well supported generally, it is an issue of relevance that is addressed in this research project. (emphasis added)
If by ‘not well supported’ they mean that not many other people argue this they are right, but this is mainly because there is little overlap between the labour market literature and the higher education policy literature. Unfortunately, I pretty much have the issue of how we allocate university places between disciplines to myself. The only two other positions in the debate are what happens politically – ad hoc allocations of new places if employers scream loudly enough – and the position adopted by Bob Birrell and the Bradley report, which is to flood the labour market with graduates and hope that the sheer numbers make skills shortages unlikely.
Continue reading “Did I make a ‘not well supported generally’ argument?”