The Minister for Industry and Science, the Hon. Ed Husic MP, will host a series of roundtables this week with industry leaders to discuss the economic and employment challenges they face, particularly the national shortage of skilled labour.
The five roundtables to be held will cover:
- science and commercialisation (Wednesday 17 August)
- digital and tech skills (Wednesday 17 August)
- advanced manufacturing (Thursday 18 August)
- industrial unions (Thursday 18 August)
- artificial intelligence (Friday 19 August).
The input from these roundtables will help inform the Minister’s contribution to the Jobs and Skills Summit that will be held on 1 and 2 September.
Minister Husic has also asked Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, to raise jobs growth and skills development at her regular forums ahead of the September summit.
“Access to skilled labour is now one of the biggest challenges to Australia’s productivity and competitiveness,” Minister Husic said.
“There is a shortage of skilled workers across most industries and it is essential that we meet the challenge of supplying the people our nation needs.
“At these roundtables industry leaders will be able to share their ideas, difficulties and aspirations on how the Government can work with them to find solutions.
“These discussions will also include ways to increase the representation of women and people of diverse backgrounds in skilled occupations.
“While the priority will be the education and training of the domestic workforce – for young Australians and for workers seeking new careers – managing appropriate skilled migration will also have an important role to play and will be on the agenda.
“One of my priorities is on ‘brain regain’ – encouraging Australian researchers and innovators to return home. I am interested to hear ideas on how this can be best achieved.
“The Albanese Government aims to create a sense of national purpose in our industrial development, with governments, industry and researchers working together, supported by the Australian people.”
Discussion at the roundtables will include job opportunities in the industries of the future, the skills that will be in demand and the challenges in attracting and retaining skilled workers.
“I can’t emphasise strongly enough that this is the start of engagement with these industry sectors. After the Jobs and Skills Summit I will continue the work with industry leaders to ensure we apply practical solutions to accelerate Australia’s pathway to high-skilled, high-value economy.”
The Jobs and Skills Summit at Parliament House on 1 and 2 September will bring together unions, employers, civil society and governments, to address our shared economic challenges, including skills shortages.