Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business, Stuart Robert, today announced new measures to equip Australia’s workforce with the skills needed to grow Australia’s prosperity now and into the future.
The measures announced today come after the first State of the Skills Report delivered by the National Skills Commission.
Minister Robert said the Morrison Government will deliver a range of measures designed to build workforce capability, support job mobility and ensure challenges such as workforce shortages, the accelerated pace of change with increased use of digital technology, and more flexible ways of working were addressed.
‘Australia’s continued prosperity depends on a workforce with the right skills to meet the demands of the economy and community, as well as the agility to rise to the opportunities presented by emerging industries.
I’m also announcing a range of measures designed to help Australians connect to meaningful employment and inform and empower industry to play the important role of attracting and retaining employees.’
‘We will spend $8 million to increase the number of Job Fairs in regional and metropolitan areas and connect more Australians with local jobs. We will expand the successful Launch into Work program to $74.7 million worth of projects to be funded each year to prepare job seekers for vacancies through work experience, training, and mentoring. We will also expand the 1800 CAREER service to Australians aged 25 and older who are self-managing their search for work using the Government’s online employment services.
We will work to fast-track entry into the workforce through the apprenticeship and traineeship sector by investing $10.5 million over the next three years to work intensively with the New South Wales and South Australian governments to pilot novel approaches to accelerate qualification completion time.’
‘We will also look to those who have migrated to Australia, and how we can support them to take up work in areas of demand which our domestic workforce is unable to fill. We will spend nearly $20 million through to 2023-24 to deliver faster, cheaper skills assessments which will acknowledge the valuable skills migrants have brought with them and their ability to contribute to the Australian workforce. Our targeted migration settings will continue to be considered holistically, informed by Australia’s broader domestic workforce objectives to ensure they complement each other.’
Minister Robert said the new measures would complement the Government’s existing programs, with all job seekers and those looking to reskill and upskill benefitting.
‘Our vision for skills reform and a funding model that provides national consistency for students, underpinned by improvements to the collection, timeliness and transparency of data across the Vocational Education Training (VET) system, will ensure we’re training Australians with the right skills to get the jobs in demand,’ Minister Robert said.
‘We will also ensure jobactive providers take a stronger, more proactive brokerage role in identifying local employment opportunities and referring job seekers to suitable work. Both job seekers and jobactive providers must be outcome-focused, with providers working closely with their region’s Employment Facilitator to develop strategies that better connect job seekers with local business needs, and support job seekers to upskill so they are ready to take up work when opportunities arise.
‘From 1 January 2022 through to June 2024, we will provide over $49 million to double the number of places in The Skills Checkpoint for Older Workers Program and increase the number of Skills and Training Incentives available, to assist older Australians to adopt a lifelong approach to learning, upskilling and reskilling, all while reducing their reliance on income support.
Minister Robert said the Australian Government is committed to providing strong incentives and support for older job seekers to remain engaged in the labour market.
‘Aged pensioners who choose to re-enter the workforce or increase their work hours will benefit from an easier return to the Age Pension if they exceed the income limit due to their employment and will be able to keep their Pensioner Concession Card for two years,’ Minister Robert said.
Minister Robert said the Morrison Government would also invest $10 million to develop an integrated data tool which would deliver a comprehensive, near real-time, regional view of Australia’s workforce, skill, and labour market.
‘The tool will deliver workforce, skills and labour data at a regional level to help businesses understand the supply and demand for staff, assist them in their workforce planning, and match available skills and training to their needs,’ Minister Robert said.
‘What I am announcing today ensures workforce policy and sector-specific workforce plans are data-driven, equip and enable Australians to take up available work, remove barriers to participation, activate industry and target migration to complement the domestic workforce and fill skills and labour gaps.
‘It identifies the critical role business and industry needs to play in investing in their existing staff and contributing to Australia’s current and future workforce, and ensures that all Australians have opportunities to train, reskill, or upskill, and find meaningful work.’