Economic Insights – February 2018

Economic Insights – February 2018

Hot Jobs

Business Development Manager:
Responsible for the development of growth strategies and managing client relationships, Business Development Managers can expect to earn $80,000-$95,000 pa.

Robotics Process Automation Developer:
$70,000 to $90,000 – Build software ‘robots’ and design process automation solutions using industry standard techniques and RPA software.

Human Resources Consultant:
The HR Consultant is responsible for performing advanced, specialized and administrative duties in a designated human resource program or area and can expect to earn $80,000-$91,000 pa.

Inside Sales Representative:
Inside Sales Representatives work with customers to find what they want, create solutions and ensure a smooth sales process and can expect to earn $60,000-$80,000 pa.

Software Engineer:
Software engineers tend to specialize in a few areas of development, such as networks, operating systems, databases or applications, and each area requires fluency in its own set of computer languages and development environments. Software Engineers can expect to earn $75,000-$90,000 pa.

Hot Topics

Although Adani’s Carmichael Coal Mine remains under significant political pressure, the company’s stock has continued a steady recovery from its 2015 crash, growing by 60% since October 2017 (AU$2.34 to AU$4.04). The Australian coal market has also experienced consistent price growth, currently sitting at US$106.78/metric tonne, gaining 4.56% in the last month and 27.52% in the last year. The price of Australian geothermal coal is at its highest point since March 2012. These factors indicate a regaining confidence in the growth potential of Australian coal, and thereby the possibility of job growth in the near future of the mining sector.

Relocation Destinations

National unemployment in January 2018 was 5.5%, a slight decrease of 0.1 percentage points from December 2017, though labour force participation also fell by 0.1 points to 65.6%. This varies somewhat by State however as South Australia (5.9%), Queensland (6.0%) and Victoria (6.1%) all sit above the national average. New South Wales (4.8%) and the ACT (3.7%) remain the highest performers, though NSW participation (64.6%) falls below the national average.

Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Canberra present the best opportunities for job-seekers. Jobs in these cities are plentiful and well-remunerated. Townsville and Elizabeth continue to be precarious grounds for those looking for a new career. High unemployment rates and dearth of emerging employment initiatives do not portend future growth in these regions.

*Economic insight reports monthly by WithYouWithMe Labour Market Analyst, Jonathan Walker.

Tom Moore in Israel speaking to ABC Radio Canberra

Tom Moore in Israel speaking to ABC Radio Canberra


Our CEO Tom Moore is this week in Israel as part of Minister Dan Tehan’s cyber security delegation. The trip coincided with the 100 year anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, a battle in which Tom’s great-grandfather Cecil Norman O’Brien fought. Tom spoke with ABC Canberra about what it means for him to be commemorating the efforts of his ancestor, as well as how the trip will help WithYouWithMe’s cyber program, training veterans for careers in cyber security.

Duration: 7min 34sec

Source: ABC Radio Canberra. 

Australian startup prepares former military personnel to fill the IT skills shortage

Australian startup prepares former military personnel to fill the IT skills shortage

Sydney-based Tom Moore returned to the daily grind from serving in Afghanistan, and after a poor transition process, founded a company that aims to change the way the veteran workforce is perceived by industry and upskill ex-military personnel for a career in technology.


Tom Moore spent seven and a half years in the Australian infantry, serving initially as a combat soldier before he became a commander. He led a 60-man team into combat in Afghanistan in 2013 and thought it would be his sole career for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately, Moore found himself injured later in that year, which meant he had to return to Australia and face the standard day-to-day life. It also meant he had to find a new job.

The statistics on service men and women transitioning into “standard” jobs are far from inspiring. Moore told TechRepublic he went through 100 applications and 15 interviews but couldn’t get a gig; however, the process made him learn two valuable lessons.

“One, we weren’t set up for transition. It was like firing a shotgun out rather than a sniper bullet — veterans aren’t used to a competitive job market; and two, I don’t think Australian industry has really harnessed veteran talent from return on investment,” he explained.

Moore built a software app to store the contact details of CEOs. All of a sudden, the game changed and he was offered a handful of jobs.

“My first job was cold calling sales for HP, Lenovo, and Dell, and within 12 months I was consulting back to the head of channel,” Moore said.

“My soldiers started to call me quite depressed because they were unemployed or underemployed and I got jack of it, sold everything, and spent my AU$60,000 on building the software application to translate skills and experiences.”

From there, Moore built out a mentoring, recruitment, and training program with the aim of helping employers realise their return on investment by targeting gaps in the labour market and matching veterans to those gaps. His startup, WithYouWithMe, also provides veterans with free training — validated by partners such as Amazon, BAE Systems, Accenture, SAP, and DXC Technology — to ensure they have the skills for tech-based jobs.

Moore didn’t have any tech experience before he served, but the skills he developed while serving proved to be invaluable in the IT world.

“In Afghanistan, when you’re managing 60 [people], when you’re in an environment you’re not explicitly trained for, you sort of have to learn, you have to do it. There’s a mission you have to achieve,” the now CEO explained. “We’re trained to win.”

However, to get veterans jobs, Moore realised he can’t play the game that the recruitment market does.

“We can’t just get veterans jobs, we have to be really good at recruiting and I guess our key disruptor in that space is by working with companies, identifying the perfect fit — which is what our software allows us to do — and then we actually train them for the gaps that they’re missing,” he said.

“In terms of cybersecurity, rather than poaching people off their competitors and paying a lot more money, we’re reducing a company’s wage budgets and reducing recruitment costs by building them a pipeline of talented people that also happen to be veterans.”

With certain new technology tested by the military before it’s released to the commercial market, Moore said it means the average junior soldier or officer is already quite experienced and “get” the problem solving piece already.

In terms of cybersecurity, this means veterans are often ripe for futures as pen-testers, analysts, and operations and project managers.

“They can operate really well in an incident response centre because they’ve done that, they’ve thwarted threat for so long,” he told TechRepublic. “We’re built to be problem solvers and we’re built to understand the threat.”

Over 760 people are currently training on the WithYouWithMe platform and 172 veterans have been placed in jobs in less than a year. Moore is working with around 50 Fortune 500 companies to place returned service men and women into new careers.

In the case of BAE, Moore said trainees using his platform are working within the security giant’s SOC as part of their training.

Veterans leave Moore’s service quite qualified; they come out with hacking foundations, basic to advanced knowledge of Red Hat Linux, and Python skills, as some examples.

“I think that is important — these people already have clearances, they’ve already worked against enemy threat from an intelligence combat and IT perspective, and we’re not just taking the IT guys in the military, we’re taking combat veterans that are analytical thinkers, that can problem solve, pick a lock, and training them to be a workforce that any company that is serious about its cyber defence should look in to see if there’s a fit within their team,” he added.

Moore wants to change how the veteran workforce is perceived by industry. He wants big business in Australia to look at returned service men and woman as resource rather than a charity case, and an overall good fit to fill the labour shortage gap Australia is going to soon find itself facing.


Read online with TechRepublic.

Veterans urge employers to look at ‘attitude, not the resume’

Veterans urge employers to look at ‘attitude, not the resume’


Defence force veterans are urging businesses to give them a chance.

They say pre-conceived ideas about former fighters make it tough for them to find a job and their purpose once they’ve left the military.

Analysis shows about 30 per cent of veterans are unemployed after leaving the defence force.

Duration: 3min 33sec

More Information

Gabe Marzano, job seeker
Tom Moore, With You With Me founder
Adam Beavis, Amazon Web Services
Jayson Christian, job seeker


Read online with ABC Radio.

Veterans struggling with unemployment urge employers to look beyond misconceptions

Veterans struggling with unemployment urge employers to look beyond misconceptions

Pre-conceived notions about former Australian Defence Force personnel are making it tough for veterans to find a job.

About 30 per cent of veterans are unemployed, according to WithYouWithMe, a company that matches veterans’ skills with new careers.

The company hosted the careers expo in Sydney, where about 25 businesses were on show in an effort to help the 150 veterans who turned up to look for a job.

Tom Moore, the founder of WithYouWithMe, has more than eight years’ experience in the military, including service in Afghanistan where he led a combat team into Kandahar Province in 2013.

Mr Moore left the Army after problems with his legs and knows first hand re-entering civilian life is not always easy.

“It is hard. I applied for over 100 jobs, got about seven interviews,” he said.

Mr Moore eventually found work after cold-calling company CEOs.

The WithYouWithMe program involves mentoring veterans to find their new mission in life and train them up for jobs in industries with a high demand for workers.

“Veterans are brilliant talent, it’s just that we don’t know what’s out there, so we fire a shot gun round instead of a sniper bullet when we transition,” Mr Moore said.

“Employers love the values that veterans bring, but in Australia they really haven’t captured that yet.”

WithYouWithMe report found the veteran unemployment rate was five times higher than the national average.

It has placed 172 veterans in jobs since it started in May last year and is looking to expand to the United States in six months.

Army combat engineering officer Gabe Marzano had an interview with software company SAP Australia, which was looking for sales agents.

“The reception today has been phenomenal actually,” she said.

“I know there’s a common misconception about Defence personnel, almost being a bit of a liability to industries, but I think the vast majority — if not all Defence personnel — are very talented.”

The Army scuba diver has been playing in the W-League for Sydney FC when not on duty.

Ms Marzano said she was now planning her next career move, and sales seemed like the perfect fit.

“Or somewhere where I can be around people all the time, and make new friends, somewhere that I can be in a high-performing environment,” she said.

She pointed to her background in the military for equipping her with skills that could come in handy in the corporate world.

“The military instils a lot of really highly desirable qualities such as integrity and teamwork,” Ms Marzano said.

“We’re humble people and we do like to credit the team. We do have high levels of work ethic as well.

“And I think, from what I’ve seen and been exposed to, that doesn’t often happen in the civilian work place.”

Former military policeman Jayson Christian is among the job seekers at the expo looking for a career to engage and sustain him.

He left in 2009 after serving 18 years and working in close personal protection in the Middle East.

Now Mr Christian works as a bus driver, but has been eyeing a career in cyber security, a sector with a big need for skilled workers.

He said his own experience showed Defence was letting down members with a transition process that involved lots of slide shows full of information that did not translate to the private sector.

Mr Christian urged employers to “look at the attitude, not the resume” of the person in front of them.

“You really need to sell yourself in relation to your personality because people don’t understand your skill sets,” he said.

“They see this Defence person through media in relation to movies or whatever else, they’re broken goods. I have personally come up against that stigma time and time again.”

Read online with ABC.

Working Sydney: How to get a job after leaving the Army

Working Sydney: How to get a job after leaving the Army

When Michael Webeck was medically discharged from the Army, he found the unstructured days and freedom to make his own decisions the most challenging aspects of civilian life.

The 24-year-old joined the Australian Defence Force (ADF) straight from school at the age of 17 and became a combat engineer, specialising in explosives and construction, and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2012.

After five years he was discharged after experiencing some physical injuries and being diagnosed with lupus.

“With my experience, I knew I still wanted to do something hands-on and be outdoors. I think that was a trait before the Army as well … but nothing really popped up,” Mr Webeck said.

“Without structure I was going off the rails and I did develop a bit of a gambling problem.

“That was spiralling out of control at times so I had to build my own structure so I threw myself back into work and into the gym.”

Mr Webeck worked for a short period in construction and formwork before he came across recruitment agency WithYouWithMe.

The veteran-owned start-up company was launched in July 2016 and specifically transitioned personnel from the ADF into the private sector.

The agency assigned Mr Webeck an ex-military mentor and found him a 12-week paid traineeship program with a telecommunications company rolling out the National Broadband Network.

Nearly 90 veterans have since completed the traineeship and can earn up to $100,000 a year.

Mr Webeck established his own business as a telecommunications technician and is subcontracted to install the NBN around Sydney.

“I want to make it work and it’s quite exciting and daunting, but it’s a new chapter,” he said.

Transitioning out of the military

Each year about 5,500 people are discharged from the ADF — about 62 per cent are voluntary and 38 per cent for other reasons, including medical discharge.

All members leaving the ADF complete a “transition process” that includes coaching sessions about preparing for civilian life, a two-day job search preparation workshop and interview skills.

A Defence spokesperson said transition coaches maintained contact with personnel for up to 12 months after their departure, and a separate Career Transition Assistance Scheme provided financial and career support.

“The support available to ADF members is multifaceted and focused on the member throughout their employment in the ADF, through the transition process, and after they have left Defence,” the spokesperson said.

“Defence does not provide this support in isolation; we form part of a whole-of-government effort to enhance services and promote their availability to all who might need them.”

According to a report by WithYouWithMe, 30 per cent of veterans are unemployed after leaving the ADF.

Just under 4 per cent are facing long-term unemployment and have been without a job for more than 12 months.

Ninety-six per cent of the agency’s clients had to take a reduction in income.

“The Army is very good at transitioning people out of the Army … to help them leave, but it’s not a service set up to help them get a job in the civilian market,” general manager Tom Larter said.

Mr Larter was in the Army for 13 years.

“If a veteran decides to leave service and they struggle to find work, then they head into a downward spiral and they start to have issues around anxiety because they can’t find a good job, they can’t get money coming in and they can’t look after their family,” he said.

“We need to find them work to stop that from happening and if we can limit that, that will have amazing benefits for the economy, for the country and for these veterans transitioning.”

The ADF said the support it gave transitioning veterans “is considerably more than what is provided by other Australian employers”.

Valuing the soft skills of veterans

Mr Webeck said he felt he could have transitioned better if the ADF had provided more one-on-one mentoring and tailored coaching sessions.

“It may have been enough for some of my colleagues, but at times it wasn’t enough for me,” he said.

“I’m not saying there isn’t enough support, I’m saying there should have been some extra things, like working in a civilian company, the kind of structure you’ll get from them.

“I think the support they give you is still very ‘Army’. I think we need a bit more support getting outside jobs … more support with how to go about that.”

Mr Larter said many veterans, particularly those who did not receive a formal qualification through the ADF, found it difficult to translate their skills to a civilian job.

He said the agency ran a number of retraining courses and helped its clients tap into the “soft skills” they could bring to the workplace.

“They’ve worked in small teams, they have general leadership abilities and a good work ethic; they’re the type of skills we were looking for for the NBN [traineeship].

“They’re fast learners, they have a will to win, they want to succeed, they want to be the best in the team.

“We found that combat corps Army personnel, for example, were excellent at sales and recruitment because they love to talk to people, they follow a process really well because they’re used to systems in the Army … and they just love wanting to win.”

Mr Webeck said learning how to communicate and deal with others outside of the military environment was a challenge.

One skill though he said he did bring to the workplace was showing respect to superiors given the strict culture the Army demanded.

Mr Larter said Australian companies also needed to be open to hiring veterans.

“I think there is potentially a perception that people in the civilian market don’t necessarily understand some of the roles and functions veterans perform in the military,” he said.

“There is the perception that we spend a lot of time at war and there are damaged veterans. There is a small percentage that do need help but they get great support.”

Read online with ABC.