The Jobs and Skills Summit has brought Australians together to agree on immediate actions to help build a stronger economy and a stronger Australia.
Government, employers, unions and the broader community will take forward initiatives to help build a bigger, better trained and more productive workforce, boost real wages and living standards, and create more opportunities for more Australians.
The Albanese Government will ensure full employment, productivity growth and equal opportunities for women are central objectives of its economic and fiscal policy.
We will work towards reducing barriers to employment so that all Australians have the opportunity to participate to their full potential.
Working with industry, unions and other stakeholders at the Summit, the Albanese Government has agreed to 36 immediate initiatives including:
- 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;
- More flexibly utilising $575 million in the National Housing Infrastructure Facility to invest in social and affordable housing, and attract financing from superannuation funds and other sources of private capital;
- Modernising Australia’s workplace relations laws, including to make 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, 1,000 digital apprenticeships in the Australian Public Service, and other measures to reduce barriers to employment;
- An increase in the permanent Migration Program ceiling to 195,000 in 2022-23 to help ease widespread, critical workforce shortages; and
- Extending visas and relaxing work restrictions on international students to strengthen the pipeline of skilled labour, and providing additional funding to resolve the visa backlog.
We thank those who stepped up and spoke up at the Summit and the more than 100 roundtables held prior to the Summit in communities across the country, for their fresh ideas and open and constructive approach to addressing our nation’s big economic challenges.
Many of the ideas and suggestions raised will be explored further over the next 12 months as part of the Employment White Paper, which will further help shape the future of Australia’s labour market.
The Albanese Government will release the terms of reference for the White Paper and begin accepting submissions later this month.
The Summit and roundtables have proven there is a genuine desire across our country to come together to have a mature, forward-looking debate and to look for common ground.
The Albanese Government will seek to maintain this spirit of cooperation and collaboration in the months and years ahead.
The Jobs and Skills Summit outcomes document can be viewed in full at treasury.gov.au/employment-whitepaper/jobs-summit.