The economy and inflation have been a talking point in the media recently, and this week the government set aside 2 days to host the Jobs and Skills Summit. This summit brought Australians together to agree on immediate actions to help build a stronger economy and, ultimately, a stronger Australia.
The government wanted to generate ideas and consensus to boost the incomes of average Australians, increase the participation and standing of women in the workforce, address the national skills shortage, and create a more productive workforce.
What is on the agenda?
The agenda includes sessions on:
- Maintaining full employment and growing productivity
- Equal opportunities and pay for women
- Sustainable wage growth and the future of bargaining
- Mega-trends driving our current and future skills needs
- Workforce opportunities from clean energy and tackling climate change
- Skills and training
- Workforce participation
The Albanese government says it has agreed to 36 immediate initiatives. Some of the key ones are:
- An additional $1 billion in joint federal-state funding for fee-free TAFE in 2023 and accelerated delivery of 465,000 fee-free TAFE places.
- A one-off income credit so that age pensioners who want to work can earn an additional $4,000 over this financial year without losing any of their pension.
- Modernising Australia’s workplace relations laws, including making bargaining accessible for all workers and businesses.
- Amending the Fair Work Act to strengthen access to flexible working arrangements, make unpaid parental leave more flexible and strengthen protection for workers against discrimination and harassment.
- Improving access to jobs and training pathways for women, First Nations people, regional Australians and culturally and linguistically diverse people, including equity targets for training places, 1000 digital apprenticeships in the Australian Public Service, and other measures to reduce barriers to employment.
- Better embedding employment in National Disability Insurance Scheme plans, to ensure participants who want to work are supported to do so.
- Strengthen existing reporting standards to require employers with 500 or more employees to commit to measurable targets to improve gender equality in their workplaces.
- An increase in the permanent migration program ceiling to 195,000 in 2022-23 to help ease widespread, critical workforce shortages.
- Extending visas and relaxing work restrictions on international students to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour, and provide additional funding to resolve the visa backlog.
What does this mean for Australians?
The 36 initiatives cover all areas of employment and workplace participation and will be explored further over the next 12 months. For many Australians this will bring about a change in how they manage workplace arrangements including caregiving and disability, accessing wage increases, upskilling or training for a new career, and improving overall working conditions.
We are always available to help if you require any advice or assistance with your career needs including resumes, cover letters, selection criteria and coaching. Get in touch today to see how we can help you find your dream job.
Office of the Prime Minister of Australia