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Big Tilt by Bernard Salt

Nicola Card
07 June 2011 1 minute readShare
My Business

Bernard Salt's book, the Big Tilt, suggests big economic changes will come with the retirement of the Baby Boomers. Immigration, he says, will be need to keep the economy strong.

At this point we'll start to see more Baby Boomers exiting the workforce than Generation Ys entering it, Salt says, and the impacts of the 'Baby Bust' will be far reaching:

  • The available pool of talent that business can draw from will start to diminish
  • The rate of growth in the tax base will start to slow down, and
  • The Baby Boomers who choose to remain in the workforce will create an increased demand for flexible working arrangements and the re-engineering of existing positions.

The reality is that whether our Baby Boomers choose retirement or to continue working, employers will feel the impact as they try to extract the greatest productivity from their workforce over the next 10 years.

An annual migrant intake of up to 180,000 skilled workers is necessary to fill the gap as Australia's baby boomers depart the workforce, says Bernard Salt in his recently released book The Big Tilt.

He also calls for strong and visionary leadership to manage the profound demographic challenges of the 2010s.

"Australia needs the skills, the labour, the tax-paying capacity of new migrants to maintain living standards, to underpin the tax base, and to capture the prosperity of the mining boom," he says.

"If we adopt a small-Australia policy of 70,000 migrants per year, this will add barely 500,000 or three percent to the working age population by 2021 [whereas] if we take the big-Australia path of 180,000 migrants per year, we will add 1.4 million or nine percent to the productive tax-paying population by 2021."

Sustainability is key; with new migrants directed to places where workers are needed.

With characteristic wit Bernard Salt identifies and labels groups, delivering new acronyms (and the rise of) NETTELs, PUMCINS and other urban tribes.

As described: "Do you compare iPhone diaries to co-ordinate the week's family activities? Then you are probably a Nettel or Not Enough Time to Enjoy Life. Nettels are everywhere but they are mostly in Canberra where the Nettel hotspot is Curtin. Do you eat goat's cheese? Then you might just be part of the PUMCINS set, Professional Urban Middle Class In Nice Suburbs."

Big Tilt by Bernard Salt
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Nicola Card

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