Skills and critical workers will fuel our recovery

Business Council of Australia

Action to develop Australians’ skills and get critical workers will be crucial to fuelling Australia’s economic recovery, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

“Getting the skills system right is the best way to protect Australian jobs and Australian workers as the world changes.

“We support the government’s approach to this challenge, building a pipeline of critical skilled workers and filling shortages with the best talent in the world to unlock the projects that will fuel our recovery.

“In particular, a new pilot scheme rolling out flexible micro-credentials in our world class universities will help Australians get the skills they need quickly and build their own qualifications.

“This initiative will help speed up skills development and put Australians in the box seat for good jobs in new and developing industries.

“That’s why we proposed micro-credentialing as a part of our landmark blueprint for education reform in 2017 and have been advocating for it ever since.

“We also support action to boost labour force participation by making it easier for Australians to get into work or re-enter the workforce, particularly for women and older workers.

“As we reinvigorate our skills and education system, carefully targeted skilled migration giving businesses rapid access to skills in short supply will be critical.

“New data released by the National Skills Commissioner is some of the most comprehensive analysis completed in a decade. This will help take the guess work out of identifying our skills needs, giving businesses and government a clear view of the skills needed now, and those that we’ll need to build a more modern and dynamic economy in the future.

“We are building a strong pipeline of talent for Australia, but it can’t deliver highly skilled workers overnight.

“You can’t employ hundreds of Australians on a construction job if you don’t have a surveyor and you can’t deliver an infrastructure pipeline without engineers.

“Getting access to the right skills and the right workers will be a major hurdle for our economic recovery, so getting this right must be a priority.

“We welcome the convergence of views from both sides of politics that this challenge is critical to our recovery and that a reinvigorated VET and micro credentialing system will be key.

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