News Pulse for April 26, 2017

A daily download of SME, startup, fintech and tax news from around Australia.

Panama papers: crime gangs, not just tax dodgers

The public should be able to freely access the names of the people behind the ownership of assets and bank accounts in order to boost transparency and stop secret shell companies being used for criminal activity.

This is the key contention of a host of submissions to Treasury as part of the federal government’s plans to increase transparency of the beneficial ownership of companies following the Panama Papers revelations .

Government targets dodgy education courses

Advertised a job in your small business and had applications from candidates who have qualifications on paper but lack basicAustralian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is Australia’s corporate, markets and financial services regulator. asic.gov.au knowledge and skills for the role they’re going for?

It’s become an issue in the painting and decorating industry , following the rise of vocational training courses that purport to teach students vital trade skills, such as safe handling of toxic materials such as asbestos and lead paint.

Fintech sector to suffer from 457 changes

The changes, which saw more than 200 jobs removed from the Short-term Skilled Occupation List for visa nominations with immediate effect, is already having an impact on Australian fintech firms, FinTech Australia chief executive Danielle Szetho says.

“We’re already hearing terrible stories from start-ups who are losing a third of their small teams because of the immediate effect of the changes, which is undoubtedly disastrous for their growth and team morale,” Ms Szetho  said.

Explosive growth in IT talent needs, says expert

Australia is seeing the strongest growth in recruitment of experienced technology professionals for data science, the mobile field (especially user experience and content focused), cyber security, and professionals who understand blockchain applications.

That is according to Mark Neilson, APAC chief executive and executive director,  Talent International , who told iTWire that Talent was seeing explosive growth in the types and number of roles for which it was recruiting. This demand, for different skill sets, was continually evolving as new technology products and associated risk were introduced to the market.

How educators and startup industry need to collaborate

A  recent report  by Innovation and Science Australia (ISA) revealed that under five per cent of “innovation-active businesses” in Australia collaborate with universities or higher education institutions. Considering the startup industry is arguably the most ‘innovation-active’ of all, how does this lack of collaboration affect the growth of our economy?

It’s long been “cool” to be an entrepreneur who studied at the school of hard knocks, rather than a university classroom. Many jump on the bandwagon and advocate for the “real world” skills gained on a shop floor, citing the success of dropouts Zuckerberg, Gates, Jobs and Branson as why aspiring entrepreneurs should forgo a university education.

A VPN even George Brandis would love

The idea of an Australian virtual private network provider forced to log all its users’ activity must seem laughable to its anything-goes offshore competitors, but Wangle CEO Sean Smith swears compliance with our  new data retention laws is a competitive advantage.

Virtual private networks (VPNs) claim to allow their members to use the public internet in a way that shields their activities from the eyes of outsiders, encrypting their data and rendering it invisible even to their own internet service provider.

Tips, comments or suggestions? Let me know in the comments, send me an email or tweet me @simeonduncan.

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