2 September 2022

Tackling shortages for small business

The Albanese Government will help small businesses address critical labour and skills shortages through investment in training for Australians and easing the pathway for migrant workers.

The Government knows our small businesses have been doing it tough. They’ve stared down years of floods, fires, and a global pandemic, and are now facing a tight labour market and rising inflation.

The Albanese Labor Government will undertake further work to improve permanent residence pathways for temporary migrants and labour market testing to protect Australian workers.

The Government is increasing the Migration Program, from 160,000 up to 195,000 places in 2022-23. The Government will provide $36.1 million in additional funding to accelerate visa processing and resolve the visa backlog.

The Government will provide a one-off income credit to older Australians to give them the option to work and keep more of their money. This will enable age and veterans pensioners who want to work to immediately boost the supply of labour to help meet shortages.

The Government will accelerate the delivery of 465,000 additional fee-free TAFE places, with 180,000 to be delivered in 2023.

The role of women in the workplace will also be strengthened, with the Government committed to making childcare more affordable.

These measures will be complemented by the establishment of an independent Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce to support women’s economic security, boost workforce participation and get women back on track after COVID.

Labor will also modernise Australia’s workplace relations laws, working with small businesses and unions to create a new culture of genuine good-faith negotiation.

Minister for Small Business Julie Collins said the collaborative approach by attendees at the Jobs and Skills Summit helped shape solutions to the shortages, exacerbated by almost a decade of neglect and division under the Coalition.

“Our small businesses need the support that only a Labor Government can deliver, and I’m proud of the collaborative discussions held this week,” she said.

“I look forward to continuing to work with business leaders and representatives to implement solutions and find a pathway forward to a better future.”