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Ideal candidate with print skills faces uphill battle

When it comes to placing round pegs in round recruitment holes, few if any do it better than JDA Print Recruitment. Also, few are prepared to speak out and take a position on bureaucratic block-headedness that prevents our industry and country from benefitting from excellent skills and commitment that some migrants can bring in, as JDA’s James Cryer and Chris Gander.  
Juliette Fossa, an experienced print professional from South Africa, is James Cryer’s latest cause célèbre. Juliette visited Sydney this week to meet with potential employer-sponsors and a praiseworthy pollie, Trent Zimmerman, Federal Member for North Sydney, in Cryer’s electorate. At least someone is listening, but the road-blocks to a successful move are legion, as Cryer explains.


cryer zimmerman juliette
 (l-r) James Cryer, Trent Zimmerman, MP and Juliette Fossa.

Juliette Fossa has battled street-gangs, thieves, car-jackers, South African government corruption and thuggery, not to mention dirty tap-water and declining food production, as she tries to escape the hell-hole that, sadly, South Africa is rapidly becoming. (This is not hypothesis – facts back it up, Johannesburg holds the dubious credit as the world’s most violent city. South Africa is approaching 20,000 murders per year – Australia hovers at around 240. Rape is endemic, estimated by humanitarian group IRIN at around 500,000 per year – with 67,000 probably children and baby victims – many go unreported.)

Hard working, well-educated (degrees in business and marketing), Juliette has run her own printing/signage business for the past two decades - so she could plug-in to any role with minimal training and virtually no cost to us tax-payers.

But nothing - not even her experience coping almost daily with criminals and marauding gangs - have equipped her to cope with the intransigence of Australia's immigration department.

Imagine this was a dating service: Country 'A' (for Australia), seeks hard-working partner for life. Must be well-educated, must have acquired a range of life and professional experiences, must be proficient in English and identify with Australia’s cultural values.

If we were to construct a model of what the ideal immigrant should like, Juliette Fossa would almost be a 'perfect match.’ What's not to like? But no, the faceless bureaucrats keep making life as difficult as possible in her quest to settle here enter and make a permanent contribution.

They say: “Get a sponsor.” She’s trying but the paperwork and conditions for employer sponsors are onerous. She's managed a print shop in Johannesburg for 20 years (no mean feat at the best of times, but with South Africa seemingly turning into anarchy, she deserves special credit!)

They say: “Move to a regional area.” That's a great idea. As printeries are closing in many country towns the last thing Gulargambone or Outer Woop-Woop needs is another printery!

They say: “Bring some funds and invest in a new business.” Easier said than done when the collapsed South African economy means she'd get only one tenth of the former value of any assets if she sold them, (such as the family home).

Could it be that she is 43 and the government (the same one who doesn't like quotas when it comes to females, and the same one who professes to hate age discrimination) has imposed an arbitrary age limit? Sorr-eee, bad luck but you're of no further interest. Try New Zealand. (That's what she may have to do – and, according to one immigration agent, Auckland has attracted far more successful immigrants from South Africa due to less bureaucracy).

As part of her attempt to gain some insight into why it seems so hard for someone who ticks all the boxes, she met this week with the Federal Member for North Sydney, Trent Zimmerman, MP. According to Juliette, he was sensitive, sympathetic, even supportive, and asked her lots of questions about current conditions in South Africa. She felt he was horrified by the extent of street crime and how the government and law enforcement organisations turn a blind eye (even the SA Police employ private security firms to protect their stations).  Foreign investment is drying up (like the reservoirs) and the food supply is collapsing as farms are ransacked, and despite denials, farmers and labourers are murdered.

At the most basic level of humanity you have to feel sorry for her: seeing her own country being ravished, she now finds a bureaucratic obstacle thrown up in her face, by another so-called sophisticated, enlightened, western country which professes exactly the same values of hard work, reward for effort and self-sufficiency as she does.

If any employer feels they might sponsor Juliette Fossa or offer some hope, please contact me, many thanks. If you would like a copy of her impressive CV, email: james@jdaprintrecruit.com.au and it will be sent to you. We need people like Juliette in the industry – and in Australia.

- James Cryer, JDA Print Recruitment