The national employer association Ai Group has outlined its aspirations and expectations for next week’s Federal Budget.
Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox, made the following comments on the budget context and priorities for Industry:
“As we argued in our Budget Submission, both to address the areas of emerging skills shortages and for the benefit of longer-term productivity, the budget should prioritise education and training and support this with measures to ease open the tap for permanent and temporary migrants.
“Education and training measures include:
- Extending the successful support to employers hiring to apprentices and trainees
- Support unemployed people’s efforts to improve their employability and job-readiness;
- Recalibrate the JobMaker hiring credit including by adding a skills dimension
- Introduce a program of cadetships that better integrates higher education and work.
“While areas of distress remain, and unemployment and underemployment remain too high, the aggregate economy is on track to recovery and, increasingly, businesses are reporting areas of skill shortages and difficulties recruiting including for less-skilled jobs.
“There also remains a fundamental need to revive Australia’s lagging productivity growth. With population growth now out of action for at least a couple more years, even greater emphasis needs to be placed on productivity growth.