31 May 2016

How to use social media to make yourself more employable

Author :

Social media is often regarded as the downfall of this generation. We spend our dinner dates on our phones, stalk our ex-partners, share inappropriate photos of ourselves in varying states of intoxication and often declare loathing for our jobs- which sometimes results in losing said jobs.

If used correctly, social media can be used to help, rather than hinder, your employability. Here are some of the ways social media can make you more attractive to potential employers:

Portray the right image

Social media equips you with the tools to maintain your professional identity as well as make yourself known the right reasons, according to Sheffield Hallam University. When you apply for a job, you WILL be searched on Facebook. Whilst you can modify your privacy settings to limit the audience who can view your post, the six degrees of separation theory (that everyone is six steps away by way of introduction) means that your potential employer will probably know someone, who knows someone, who knows you.

If you have to limit the visibility of your profile, you should probably reconsider the information you’re offering to the world. This means if you’re hungover you take some Panadol rather than post a status about it.

Draw attention to yourself

Do you have a degree? So do 518 million other people. Employers want to know what makes you different and social media is one way to show off your skills. Use a free blogging platform like Wordpress to build an online portfolio you can link your employers to. Grow your LinkedIn network to demonstrate your wealth of connections (and don’t be surprised if employers start connecting with you).

Research, research, research

LinkedIn is more than a digital CV. Over 300 million professionals worldwide take to LinkedIn to establish a presence and engage with other thought leaders. Search the company you’re hoping to join, follow key influencers in the sector, join and participate in related discussion groups. Prove to the employer that you don’t just want a pay check (though that may well be the case) but that you’re genuinely passionate about the industry.

Tweet tweet

Twitter can be used for more than hash-tagging your shock at the latest Master Chef development. Follow employers and industry leaders to stay abreast of the latest news in your sector. Demonstrate your knowledge by engaging in conversations and commenting on pertinent issues (respectfully). With over 241 million active Twitter users monthly, it’s a platform filled with opportunity.

Social media is not a thing to be avoided or vilified. We simply have to learn the nature of the beast and how to tame it.

“Just as we teach our children how to ride a bike, we need to teach them how to navigate social media and make the right moves that will help them. The physical world is similar to the virtual world in many cases. It’s about being aware.”- Amy Jo Martin

What are some of the ways you’ve used social media to your advantage?

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

30 May 2016

Fit For the Future: Can the Government really amalgamate a sense of community?

Author :

Released in October 2015, IPART’s review in to the Fit For Future initiative called for the amalgamation of 87 local council areas across New South Wales. The initial amalgamation idea was met with derision at a local council level, with claims that to do so would; make the areas unable to be effectively managed, cost local jobs and increase local council rates.

The Baird Government has disputed these claims however, announcing a series of benefits to the new councils including:

  • Funding of up to $15 million for each new council to invest in community projects like junior sporting facilities, playgrounds, libraries or local pool upgrades;
  • Funding of up to $10 million to streamline existing administrative processes and cut red tape, with unused funds available to be redirect to community projects; and
  • Legislating to protect against rate increases to ensure rate payers will pay no more for their rates than they would have under their old council for a period of four years.

The decision to create the new council areas was made after four years of extensive consultation with communities and councils, as well as independent research and analysis which found the only way to move forward was to reform New South Wales’ local government structure.

Despite local resident concerns, New South Wales Premier the Hon. Mike Baird and New South Wales Minister for Local Government the Hon. Paul Toole announced on the 12th of May 2016 the establishment of 19 new councils. In a press release, the Premier and Minster for Local Government said “…. NSW today will work harder for residents and deliver better services and community facilities…”

“The most comprehensive local government reform in more than 100 years will result in 19 new councils beginning operations from today,” Mr Baird said.

The announcement, while expected, received a mixed response from the community, particularly in light of the termination of existing councillors and mayors, with the 19 new councils to be managed by an Administrator and an interim General Manager until new local council elections are held on September 9th 2017.

Amalgamation: Easier said than done

The first meeting of the new Inner West Council erupted into turmoil on the 23rd of May when dismissed mayors and Councillors seized control of a Sydney council chamber after hundreds of protesters caused the meeting to be shut down early.

The new Inner West Council was formed by the amalgamation of Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville, with residents of those areas so unhappy with the way the amalgamation process was handled by the State Government, the meeting was unable to get through the Acknowledgement of Country ceremony.

The Administrator of the Inner West Council, Richard Pearson, had to be escorted from the chamber by NSW Police as protesters turned violent, with one woman spitting on him as he left the room and another protester grabbing at Mr Pearson’s council documents and iPad before throwing them away from Mr Pearson.

In all the turbulence, the former mayors and Councillors (who had previously been sacked by the Premier) grabbed the microphone, declaring the inner west would be “ungovernable” and “unworkable” until they were reinstated to their positions by the Premier.

Whether there will be any repeat of last week’s protests remains to be seen, however the removal of the existing councillors and mayors from Leichhardt, Ashfield and Marrickville suggests regardless of public opinion the Baird Government will continue to move ahead, as planned.

“Councillors who have shown a commitment to making the new council a success will have the opportunity to get involved,” The Premier said on May 12th. “The New South Wales Government is committed to the successful implementation of new councils and central to this is local knowledge and representation.”

“Mayors and Councillors selected by administrators to be on these committees will continue to be paid at the same level, in recognition of their efforts and dedication in shaping the future of those new councils.”

“The Local Representation Committees will be established by the independent administrator in each new council and provide an opportunity for Councillors to serve the interests of their community until the election next year,” Mr Toole confirmed.

A lesson from New South Wales’ History

But these aren’t the first local government amalgamations in New South Wales. In 2004 the former Labor Government sacked two inner-Sydney councils (city of Sydney and South Sydney) in order to create a super council.

In defending the move, called a power grab by some (similar motivations have been aired in light of the current council sackings), then Labor Local Government Minister, the Hon. Tony Kelly said;

“We put the councils on notice in June last year (2003) if they didn’t reform themselves then the Government would have to step in.”

At the time the Opposition’s Local Government spokesman, Andrew Fraser, claimed it was proof if councils didn’t agree with forced amalgamations, they’d be sacked.

“The price of democracy,” he said at the time “is eternal vigilance.”

Is Bigger really Better?

The concept behind the local council amalgamations is the adage, ‘Bigger is Better’, but is that really the case?

In 2008, the Queensland State Government amalgamated their local councils from 157 to just 73. Research undertaken by Brian Dollery, Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre for Local Government at the University of New England and his colleagues found after the forced amalgamations in Queensland, a greater proportion of councils were exhibiting dis-economies of scale, as the mergers had created entities simply too large to function efficiently.

In an article published on The Conversation in March 2016 (Do mergers make for better councils? The evidence against ‘bigger is better’for local government, March 31, 2016) Professor Dollery’s research indicated that of the 31 new councils the mergers had created, 58% exhibited decreasing returns of scale. Comparing their efficiencies through time, the research also showed the merged councils consistently performed worse than the un-merged councils.

It’s not just academics who have advised the Baird Government to be careful about the move to forced amalgamations. Former Ministers on both sides of the Queensland political divide have produced a report saying “many councils in Queensland are still paying a high price” for mergers that were not well planned.

The 2008 forced mergers in Queensland were considered a success, however several were de-merged in 2014 after relentless local campaigns. The report by former Labor Minister for Government Services Simon Finn, who oversaw the Queensland mergers, and former LNP Local Government Minister David Crisafulli, who ordered the de-amalgamation of four merged councils, warned against unrealistic expectations.

“Newly created councils should not seek to realise economic benefits immediately at the expense of creating a new cohesive community,” the report states. “There will be no long-term economic benefits if the communities are ungovernable because of division.”

The report further stated that Queensland saw the greatest resistance to amalgamation in the smaller communities fearful their services and voice would diminish in the hands of a larger community. This fear was realised as local service centres were closed, giving the communities the impression local service delivery was no longer a priority to the new council.

“While the economic assessment made sense, the changes immediately impacted on the proposition of a united region and sowed the seeds for ongoing distrust.”

Economy verse Community

Making decisions based on economic values is one thing, but with the forced amalgamations already creating significant discord in the affected communities, it is incumbent on the Baird Government to clearly inform the communities their voices have been heard.

While the Minister for Local Government, Paul Toole has said there are vast differences from the QLD mergers and the New South Wales ones citing caps on rates and extra funding, these focus on the economic rather than social outcomes, failing to address the social consequences to the communities.

Mr Crisafulli said in an article on the ABC website at the time the report was released that “Things that appear to be economically smart can be socially dumb, and if you don’t get the mix right you will not take the community on the journey. If that happens, they won’t be a success.”

As shown by the successful Queensland mergers, the mergers work only when you have strong local leadership and local views factored into the decision making process.

“In other cases, where that wasn’t the case, where the small things continued to fester, we had a situation where communities grew more and more passionate about getting their Shires back as the years went on,” he said.

It would appear – at least if the new Inner West Council is any indication – that reducing the number of New South Wales local councils through amalgamation may be the easier part of the whole process. Amalgamating the communities into a cohesive community however, could be something altogether more difficult. 

Mike Cullen has recently returned to Akolade after a period as the conference producer for one of Australia's leading economic think tanks. Mike began working in the conference industry in 2007 after looking for a career change from the high pressured world of inbound customer service. Mike has worked for some of the most well-known conference and media companies in the B2B space and in his spare time is working on his first novel in a planned Epic Fantasy trilogy.

Mike’s most recently published story, Seeds of Eden, is featured in the Sproutlings Anthology released in March 2016.

27 May 2016

The Facts on Australia's Ageing Workforce

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According to the Intergenerational report, the number of Australians aged 65 and over is projected to more than double by 2055 compared with today. In 2055, there are projected to be around 40,000 people aged 100 and over, well over three hundred times the 122 Australian centenarians in 1975.

Here is a graph of the number of working age people (15-64) for each person aged 65+ in 1950, 2011 and 2050:

(Image referenced from Steve Beales, Imperial College London)

2015 data from Worksafe Victoria has revealed that injury claims amongst over 55 years employees are on the rise.

With an increasing ageing workforce, employers need to ensure the safety of their older employees and prevent them from being injured whilst on the job.

Ageing workers face specific occupational health & safety concerns. These include decreased physical capacity, fatigue, increased rates of musculoskeletal disorders and greater incidence of disease.

In order to ensure the health and safety of your mature employees, it is vital that organisations adopt effective policies, implement the right technologies and where appropriate, provide the right support to at risk employees.

To protect their older workers, employers can implement these 4 strategies to ensure their safety in the workplace:

  1. Implement formal reviews of observed behaviour, this may include presenting or talking to workers about expected safe working behaviours and make suitable adjustments to cater for each individual’s physical needs
  2. Encourage managers and peers to keep an eye out for their older workers and communicate with each other when they have observed safe/unsafe acts. This may require providing non-threatening feedback if something requires improving or changing
  3. Set improvement goals for both mature and young employees so that every employee follow and comply with company OHS and workplace safety policies or guidelines
  4. Re-enforce improvement and objectives immediately when noticed in a positive fashion. This requires managers to address unsafe issues in a timely manner to prevent injuries from happening

To learn more on how you can protect your older workers from being injured, attend Akolade’s upcoming 2nd Annual National Ageing Workforce Forum, held in Novotel Darling Harbour, Sydney on 30th  August – 1st September 2016.

Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 

In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable pets; a cat and a dog. 

26 May 2016

Hospital hacking poses serious health risks to patients

Author :

Putting the power of technology in the palm of your hand with mobile medical devices is the way of the future. Hospitals are turning to technology for the diagnosis and treatment of patients but with more of this high tech gear being introduced into the field, this also opens the doors for hackers.

The vulnerability is more serious than stealing patients’ information. According to research conducted by Washington Post has highlighted the dangers of hackers digitally manipulating devices.

Last year, 2 researchers from a cyber-security firm called Qualys discovered digital weaknesses in over 300 medical devices from 40 different vendors. Some of them are lifesaving machines. Qualys’ research confirms the biggest problem is password protection.

Bill Rios from Qualys says it’s unacceptable that passwords used in hospitals are not frequently changed.

“Most of them had backdoor passwords, what that means is basically a set of passwords that can used to access devices to modify the way the device works. The security software of iTunes and your favourite web browser, it’s much more robust than any that we’ve seen in medical devices, and to me that’s unacceptable.”

In America, there have been several documented cases of non-life threatening medical equipment being manipulated over the years. Hospital computers, have been infected with viruses causing equipment to run slowly or incorrectly.  However in those instances it has caused financial damage however, no physical harm.

“Let’s not wait until that to happen before we start to improve on the security of medical devices,” says Mr Rios.

At the end of the day liability for hacked devices falls on the hospital. I believe we should bring this issue to the forefront and enforcing hospitals, manufacturers and regulatory bodies to confront these vulnerabilities before someone gets hurt.

What are your suggestions on how can the healthcare industries protect its patients?

To read more on the Washington post report, click here

The best part of my job as a Conference Production Manager is to create and manage my own conferences from concept to delivery, identify future conference topics as well as giving me a chance to expand my business card collection. Having a bit of a sweet tooth, you will always find me having lollies on my desk or you will catch me browsing on fashion sites during lunch breaks.

25 May 2016

Selling your sole for a foot in the door

Author :

A manager of chain restaurant Joey has unwittingly become the object of wrath of every woman on the planet.

Nicola Gavins, from Alberta, Canada, uploaded an image to Facebook of her friend’s feet after her waitressing shift at Joey- a chain restaurant. The image is enough to make women cringe worldwide. Her pop-socks stained red with blood, the waitress stands next to the culprits- a pair of pointed-toe black Karl Lagerfeld high heels.

Nicola claimed her friend was “bleeding to the point she lost a toe nail.” Blanch.

 “She was still discouraged and berated by the shift manager for changing into flats (specifically told that heels would be required on her next shift the following day),” Nicola wrote on Facebook.
In a related and equally enraging incident, Nicola Thorp, a 27-year-old London receptionist, was sent home from work for wearing flats.

Nicola, from Hackney, arrived at PwC (a finance company) to be told that her shoes had to have a heel between 2 to 4 inches. Understandably frustrated, she cited the fact that male employees were not required to wear heels.

Nicola was promptly sent home without pay.

It may come as a surprise but it turns out that wearing heels actually doesn’t improve the worker’s ability to serve customers. Shocking, I know.

If anything, the 5 inches of terror hinder, rather than help. What lady hasn’t tripped while in stilettos- surreptitiously or dramatically? Maybe you’ve fallen into a garden bed (not that I’ve ever done that). Maybe you’ve sprained or broken something- it happens.

The common question arising from these disputes is, “Is it legal to force an employee to wear high heels?”

In the UK, “it is perfectly legal for UK employers to dismiss workers who do not adhere to reasonable dress code demands,” news.com.au writes. That can mean forcing staff to work for 8 hours a day on treacherous spikes.

‘But that’s on the other side of the world’, we say. ‘That would never happen in Australia.’
It turns out yes, it could.

“In Australia, the employment guidelines are similar, with employers able to impose ‘reasonable’ dress code rules,” news.com.au explains. However high heels are not enforced specifically so there may be grounds for an employee to launch a discriminate case given an incident like that above.

Why an employer would force their workers to wear high heels is beyond my comprehension. A comfortable worker is a happy worker; they will serve your business better than a worker in pain.

In the words of Anne M. Mulcahy, “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person – not just an employee – are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.”

So let your staff ditch their heels for a practical pair of flats. The results will be toe-tally worth it. 

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire minored in sarcasm and puns.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.

24 May 2016

A world of knowledge – a sea of learning opportunities

Author :

We are all different. We all have different ideas, goals and preferences. And we learn differently.

An effective learning method for some might be an obstacle for another. Instead of making students adapt to a certain school system, schools should encourage and adapt to the diversities and all that potential that is growing within those four walls.

Unfortunately adapting to students different needs is still an issue in Australia. Not surprisingly, and for several reasons that fall outside of what schools themselves can do, Indigenous students are some of the most disadvantaged students in Australia.

This affects Indigenous Australians in the long run and their participation rate in the workforce remains unacceptably low, despite several efforts by the federal government.

A key to employment is the ability to read and write, but Aboriginal communities also suffer from high levels of insufficient literacy and numeracy skills. According to Creative Spirits, 30% of Aboriginal adults lack basic literacy skills.

According to the Indigenous Economic Development Strategy; Indigenous Australians are over half as likely to finish Year 12 compared to non-Indigenous Australians. Only 37.9% of Indigenous teenagers aged 15-19 are enrolled in school compared to 51.7% non-Indigenous teenagers. And only one fifth of Indigenous Australians aged 20-24 compared to non-Indigenous Australians attend university.

Not having enough literacy skills obviously put Indigenous Australians at severe disadvantage and enables them from pursuing higher education and progress into the workforce.

There have been several initiatives by the federal government to help Indigenous Australians to gain the necessary skill to successfully enter the workforce. The Indigenous Advancement Strategy, launched in 2014, has a key initiative that constitutes of funding up to $45 million to deliver Vocational, Training & Employment Centres (VTECs), based on the employment model by GenerationOne.  The programme helps indigenous Australians enter the workforce and find sustainable jobs.

Through partnerships with employers, job seekers are guaranteed to go straight into employment after finishing the training. Organisers work closely with employers to make sure that by the time the students finish their training, the have received training to gain the skills required by the employer.

Students are supported with anything from gaining literacy and numeracy skills, work experience, pre-employment and job training. However, the support doesn’t end as the students enter the workforce, but continues to include mentorship and cultural awareness support to ensure employee retention.

Though VTCE operators work closely with employers to make sure their programmes meet their needs and values, they also collaborate with Indigenous communities and leaders, making sure the programmes are adapted to Indigenous students.

Australia’s initiative to support VTCEs programme is one step closer to making sure education is adapted to students’ needs, and gives Indigenous students a fair chance to enter the workforce.

Education does not come in just one shape or form; it can be round, square or straight, as long as it brings out the best of each student.

It’s about time for Australia to invest more in modern and flexible education and make Indigenous Australians part of our economic culture.

Come along to Akolade’s 2nd Annual Innovative Business Models for VET Forum and listen to industry experts explore ways which VET organisations can adapt their course offerings to enhance their student experience. 

Mimmie grew up in Sweden and first came to Australia as a backpacker after high school. After travelling around the country for two years she returned to Europe and pursued a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism in London. But the longing for Australia and the sun became too strong. After having worked for some time in the media industry, Mimmie decided to make a change and swap the news for conferences. She now gets to do what she loves the most, meeting new people and keep learning about cultures and issues while producing conferences on current topics.

23 May 2016

Hot off the press: Government funding for AMS

Author :

The 2016 Federal Budget has unveiled some great news for healthcare practitioners, promising a $9.4 million investment in response to the growing threat of superbugs.

Superbugs, more formally known as antimicrobial resistance (AMR) occur when organisms undergoing antibiotic treatment are able fight back against the antibiotic, rendering them ineffective.
AMR has worsened over time largely due to the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. Interestingly enough, Australia has one of the highest rates of antibiotic use in the OECD region; whilst a whopping one third of prescriptions are inappropriate for the patient’s condition.  

With the rise of AMR these statistics are very scary!  The World Health Organisation has released a statement, saying that by 2050, there will be approximately 10 million deaths per year as a result.

One of the biggest issues which healthcare practitioners currently face in Australia (in relation to combatting AMR) has been the limited availability of resources. Whilst Australia has taken several steps to combat the threat of superbugs – foremost a series of national, antimicrobial stewardship (AMS) initiatives - we are still lagging behind.  

With recent announcements in the Federal Budget dedicating significant funding for antimicrobial research and the ability to leverage AMS activities, this is an exciting time for healthcare practitioners.

Come along to Akolade’s 2nd Annual ForumTargeting and Evaluating Antimicrobial Stewardship. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to hear from leading healthcare practitioners, provide practical strategies on ways which healthcare practitioners can enact AMS practices within their organisations. 

Come and listen to the likes of:

  • Dr Klara Tisocki from the World Health Organisation, on ways to leverage limited resources for AMS.   
  • Maria Gorton from Maitland Private Hospital, on implementing an appropriate AMS program into a smaller facility. 
  • Lesley Lewis from Northeast Health Wangaratta, on exploring the value of an interdisciplinary team. 

Ashley has lived on Manly beachfront her entire life – she worships the sun and chases it year round. Having recently finished her Bachelor of Business in Portugal’s gorgeous capital, Lisbon, she thought that producing conferences at Akolade would be a great new experience.  Ashley loves her new dinner-time conversation, enlightening people on her research topics! 

20 May 2016

Facebook Depression – it’s not a myth

Author :

Whilst people are engulfed in other people’s daily activities, it is inevitable that they start comparing someone else’s lives to their own.

We have all been told before not to trust everything you see or read about on the Internet, but has anyone told you not to believe that everyone’s lives are happy and fun, except yours?

Facebook depression is when someone sees a new update from a friend on their Facebook account such as a status update, wall post, photos and videos, which make them feel unpopular.

A study from the University of Houston found that people who use Facebook more often tend to have more depressive symptoms as it was linked to people comparing their lives to others.

There have been an increasing number of people diagnosed with depression that is linked to social media. This includes low self-esteem and bitter jealousy, where people are feeling as if other people are living a better life than they do, such as seeing people posting photos and videos of their latest holiday trips, engagement, wedding, welcoming the birth of a new baby and many more.

Facebook friends’ list and status updates can have a negative impact when they are comparing themselves to each other and find they are lacking, especially when they are able to count the number of friends someone else has on their Facebook compared to their own or someone is in a relationship whilst they are still single.

Other instances that can affect someone’s feeling of self-worth include posting a status and worried if people will “like” their post or if people will comment. As a result, people may feel depressed from gaining their sense of self-worth from other people’s approval or “likes”.

Should people steer clear away from social media?

Facebook was not created to make people depressed about their lives; it is about connecting with your friends and loved ones, who you may not be able to see or catch up regularly due to other commitments or living in different locations.

You should feel good from using Facebook, however if you begin to compare your life with others, you may have a distorted view of their lives as you are only seeing a little part compared to the many other things that is happening, leading you to depressive symptoms as you feel you do not measure up to them.

If this is the case for you, then it’s time to step back away from these sites and remember that not everyone posts every little detail about themselves on Facebook. People generally just post highlights in their lives, which are the posts and photos you see on Facebook, but that’s the best they can show.

It is also important to educate teenagers and children not to read too much into other people’s lives that they start comparing every details of their own to others and only focus on how to live their life to the fullest.

Life is 10% of what happens to us and 90% of how we react to it
Dennis P. Kimbro

Being brought up in a typical Chinese family in Australia, Vivian takes pride as an ABC (Australia-born Chinese) where she happily embraces both the Chinese and Australian cultures. 

In high school, Vivian wanted to become a fashion designer, however she has developed a passion for running events after working backstage for multiple live shows. Prior to starting at Akolade, Vivian worked 4 years in the wine industry and she misses the wine tasting sessions and openly drinking on the job. As the Marketing Coordinator, Vivian enjoys using her creativity to design unique and fun campaigns for each event. In her spare time, Vivian loves to spend time with her two adorable pets; a cat and a dog.

19 May 2016

Are interns worth hiring?

Author :

In recent years, the number of students looking for internships has skyrocketed. As finding a job fresh out of University is much more challenging and employers are hesitant to hire someone without any experience, internships are the relief.

Though we know that internships are beneficial for the student, are they actually beneficial for your business?

Hiring interns do have positives and negatives, but if you find the right one, they can be very valuable for your organisation.

Interns can challenge ‘the way we’ve always done it.’ As students, they bring new ideas and can potentially assist at seeing a better way of doing things that a manager or someone in the role for a longer period of time might not.

This comes at a hot time as the Government released the Budget for 2016-17 and included the initiative of $752 million for the Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trail-Hire) Programme to help the youth through Australia’s economic transition. The Budget 2016-17 states:

“More than 50,000 youth jobs were created over the past 18 months. The $840 million Youth Employment Package steps this up with an enterprising new approach to youth employment, and will help up to 120,000 vulnerable young people over four years take advantage of job opportunities as the economy diversifies and transitions to broader‑based growth.”

Now is the time to give youth the opportunity for the real work experience they need to get a job.
An article with Entrepreneur shares five key advantages to hiring university students – each one I would agree with.

They come with a lot of energy.

Interns will most like be younger and want to prove themselves in their first real corporate working experience, so they come in refreshed and eager to learn. They are ready for a challenge!

They are inexpensive.

Businesses only have to pay interns minimum wage in most instances or they even work at no cost when you hire an intern through associations or university programs.

They come with fresh ideas.

They might find a creative way of doing a task, something you might not ever thought of on your own.

“It is really true that young people have good ideas, in part because they come to problems from a position of naiveté, which is actually an asset.”

Also, Gen Z and Millennials have a tech-savvy persona, knowing more than you think with new trends in social media, computer programs, systems, and much more.

Good interns turn out to be some of the best full-time employees.

An internship is a great way to see how much potential a student or recent graduate has in the field – and as you are able to see their skills, you have the opportunity to decide to bring them on as a full-time, paid employee.

“Internships are not just a way of attracting full-time candidates; they’re a way of finding and hiring new full-time employees who are very familiar with your corporate culture.”
 “An internship is a try-out period for both buyer and seller.”

They will accomplish the “unreasonable.”

Students and recent graduates do come with lack of experience, but this can be a good thing as less experienced youth will be less restricted to what they think they should do – this allows them to think ‘outside the box’ and work creatively.

“Younger people don't yet have the limits that they eventually benchmark themselves to because they simply don't know what they are not capable of. On this note, it’s important to give interns meaningful work or even "big idea" projects.”

If you are considering hiring an intern, review their resume closely and make sure as their manager and mentor you have the time to continue to train and mentor. Otherwise, their youth, energy and creative minds can be a value add and even help your business grow in unexpected ways.

Interested in discussions around youth employment? Check out Akolade’s just released Youth Employment Forum being held in Sydney this August which covers the best practice strategies to advance and enable youth employment, participation and engagement in the current, and future workforce.

After finishing University with a degree in Business Marketing, I decided to make a big jump across seas for the first time and move from the east coast of America to Sydney, Australia. I landed my first job in a sales position in the event industry and soon thereafter moved into a marketing assistant role – following I had the pleasure of interviewing with Akolade which got me to where I am today.

Akolade is a fun, innovative company that brings together people from different walks of life to implement change. As the Marketing Manager, I have the pleasure of wearing many hats which motivates me to succeed, reach people in an array of avenues, grow our events to their full potential, and raise our story. As for me, I am a kind dedicated woman who loves to work hard, exercise, cook, be social and have some fun.

18 May 2016

Netflix killed the television star!

Author :

Netflix now totals 81 million subscribers who stream around 10 billion hours per month.  With the advantages that online services offer over traditional TV, the numbers aren’t surprising.

Rather than waiting out a tedious week between episodes, Netflix puts entire seasons at your fingertips. Don’t try to tell me you haven’t binge-watched your favourite series, I know you’re lying.

While Channels 7, 9 and 10 are battling it out for the top spot in primetime, Netflix doesn’t have to worry about securing their time between 8 and 11pm. “Above the fray, Netflix doesn’t need to worry about what its competition is doing on any given night,” TV Cheat Sheet says.

Traditional TV is still a slave to the Nielsen rating system, whereby networks send a box to selected households representing key demographics (with consent) and tracks the household’s viewing habits, TV Cheat Sheet explains. Netflix replies, “What ratings?”

But the Government is trying to level the playing field. Streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and YouTube could be regulated by the Australian Communications and Media Authority if proposed changes in the ACMA Review are enacted.

The report cites gaps in the FreeTV code of practice which are now out-dated in that they only deliver content via traditional means but fail to encapsulate streaming services.

“The ability for one service provider to deliver the same content to different devices over different networks has led to inconsistent regulatory treatment,” the report says.

The degree of influence services like Netflix and YouTube have now surpassed that of traditional television and media outlets. It says, “In the media sector, ownership and control rules for broadcasting, datacasting and newspapers are designed to limit the degree of influence of any one media proprietor.” 

This proposal comes shortly after the Government’s tax cut for traditional broadcasters who are now competing for viewers against online services which don’t pay licence fees, according to Financial Review.

Commercial free-to-air television networks will receive a 25 per cent reduction in their licensing fees with the possibility of further concessions later this year. ABC and SBS will also receive an extra $50 million over three years to support local news, current affairs and multicultural services.

Despite the Government’s valiant attempts to make the game fair, it seems Netflix would have to be disqualified for traditional TV to have a chance at scoring.

After all, it is the age of Netflix and chill.

Claire Dowler is a Conference Producer with Akolade. She recently graduated with a double degree: a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Media and Communications Studies majoring in International Communication. Claire thought it sounded more impressive.

A ballroom-dancer who collects salt and pepper shakers and volunteers for animal rescue, you might say Claire has eclectic interests.