I would like to preface this post by saying I don’t have the answers. But I do think this is an interesting discussion and I am keen to hear your thoughts.
A recent Facebook post in the Library and Information Professionals group alerted me to the fact that librarian, library technician and records manager (as well as gallery and museum curators) are listed on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) 2017-18 Skilled Occupations List for Australia. What does this mean? It means that the Australian Government believes there is a genuine need for migrants with skills in this area.
Those who work within GLAMR sectors often discuss the competitiveness of the job market as is reflected in the comments on the Facebook post. I encourage you to read all of the comments (and they are still being added) but here are some examples of the comments:
I must be living in the only place in Australia that seems to be missing the adverts for all the librarian roles.
Hmmm as a, now nearly five months, unemployed librarian looking for work, that knows at least 4-6 others, this is bullshit!
Yes, where are the jobs? I’d like one and I’ve been in Australia for almost 40 years!
I know, we all know, that there are professionals unemployed and underemployed but is that the only side to the story?
I have spoken with managers who have struggled to fill roles with suitable candidates despite huge piles of applications and there are library services outside of capital cities who struggle to get internal and external applicants for leadership positions. I also know of people who won’t apply for jobs unless they are permanent positions.
Lots of questions come to mind with all of this information:
- Should we be more willing to move for a job especially to regional and remote areas?
- Should we be more willing to embrace temporary roles?
- How do we encourage more of us to pursue leadership positions?
- Do we have the skills that organisations and recruiters are looking for?
- Are we terrible at selling ourselves in applications and interviews?
- Are there jobs by other titles that require the skills of GLAMR professionals that we are not applying for?
- Are organisations underpaying migrant workers [as suggested in one comment on the Facebook post]?
I would also like to add that having individuals from diverse backgrounds can be a wonderful addition to the workplace. Considering how diverse the communities we serve are shouldn’t we be embracing those with different backgrounds and experiences? And as someone who hopes to embrace opportunities to work oversees during my career I understand the opportunity this offers to those like me.
I don’t have the answers, I am sure none of us have all the answers, but clearly the issue is not a simple one. What do you think? The GLAMR sector is open for business but should we be?