Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Stupid, stupid Australian Graduate Opportunity System (A Fair-Go My Ass) - A Rant Post

One thing I soon realized after graduating is the complete lack of graduate opportunities for someone who is stuck in a similar position as I am. Yeah, I get that getting your foot into any industry's door is hard as there will always be competition and so on, blah, blah blah, that is why it is wise to get an internship-for-experience's-sake, blah blah blah. 

Most people complain and laugh as to how university graduates may have wasted their time and money as most of us can't get a job position in the choice of field that we desire and sure enough, eventually we might even branch out to other jobs which are completely irrelevant to what we studied.

I get that, and I truly understand how the system works - with the vast amount of university students graduating per annum, of course there's going to be competition - and I deem it fair. What I do not understand, is WHY Australian employers are so hesitant in giving graduate opportunities to non permanent-residents (PR)/Citizens. Again, okay, most international graduates' visa expire soon after graduating university, but most of those who do not re-apply for a new visa, often leave the country or gain short-term employment. 

But what about others like me? I've been residing in this country for 8 years (and continuing) but I do not possess permanent residency/citizenship? For as long as I have been here, I've always heard the Australian societal culture/custom of having a "Fair-Go". 

ABC News stated on their website:
The 'fair go'— it’s a quintessential Australian phrase that seems to be evoked at every opportunity, from politics to the workplace to sport, and many would say it’s ingrained in the national psyche. But does it actually exist?

 My response to that last question would be "Heck, no!"

This anger stems from a time when I was earnestly seeking graduate opportunities/employment and realized that only PR/Citizens are given this blessed opportunity. In the beginning of April 2013, I remember going to a career fair, only to be rejected booth, after booth due to my unfortunate circumstance. Fuck, each damn booth has an A4 sized poster stating whether they accept all applicants or PR/Citizenship holders only. How is this a "fair" fucking go?

For starters, because I am not a PR/Citizen, I cannot afford to sit on my ass all my life because I do not gain Centrelink benefits. Even if I were able to receive benefits, I would not want it unless I seriously am unable to gain any sort of employment. That is my personal pride and I do dare say that I'm hardworking.

I pay my taxes, I work hard, and all I want was to gain an opportunity for a "career", which I feel that I am not given. Sure, I had a job and it's a goddamn job - I hated it, but it paid my bills and it has no career path I could see myself doing and at minimal wage and benefits (especially with lazy, biased, hypocritical management, no thanks). 

Seriously, refugees are even given more of an opportunity than me. Alright, most seek asylum due to war, or come from a more devastating environment than I am in, but they are granted PR??? 

Paul Sheehan, Sydney Morning Herald Columnist stated in his article:
"About 90% of those who arrive via illegal boat entries have been granted permanent residence.... Among the benefits that can be made available  to those granted protection visas, and those granted refugee status, is a one-off household formation package of up to $9850 .... Single applicants are eligible for a Newstart Allowance. Parents are eligible for Centrelink's parenting payment. Refugees, and some on bridging visas, also receive Medicare assistance for medical hospital, dental, medicine and optical costs. Mobile phones are provided to those who arrive as unaccompanied minors."

Wow. Seriously? If Australia can afford to generously grant these refugees so much benefits, they could at least consider me for a PR! I am nowhere implying that the refugees are just spoon-fed with these benefits and understand that most of these refugees have had faced a hard life of either poverty, war, famine, etc.,  and are survivors of a long and tedious boat ride to gain asylum, but holy shit, I want some of my taxes back to benefit me instead (yes, I am selfish, but it is my hard-earned money after all and not to mention the fact that I actually need the $$). 

I am just using the refugee/asylum seekers as an exaggerated comparison example, but it shows that Australia supposedly believes in the right to give everybody an equal opportunity, which is the main focus of my rant, because I personally feel that the "fair-go" policy has been undermined. 

Another issue I do not fully comprehend, is as to why employers do not give out graduate opportunities to non PR/Citizenship holders but if I were to successfully gain employment on a full-time basis on the ordinary employment process (interviews and gaining the position), it would not matter too much? As long as the visa allows for full-time employment of course (another one of my life's dilemmas - stupid stupid visa processes!!). I feel that any large corporation who is willing to put the time and effort in paid-training graduates could easily sponsor someone like me (hell, take the visa payment out of my paycheck and just say you'll sponsor me; in essence, I'll pay for it!).

Well, I suppose this issue will never be resolved and it is time to put my rant to an end. I just want to be heard and understood!

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