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Jobs Summit: highlights that tackle staff/skills shortages Posted on September 19, 2022
The recent Federal Jobs and Skills Summit was a positive step in addressing the labour and skills shortages experienced by almost every industry, but questions remain about whether the actions being taken by the government are enough. Additional migration places, TAFE courses and childcare policies were announced, but business owners want to see more to move the needle on attracting women, young people and talent from overseas.
Women are under-represented in the full-time workforce
According to 2021 ABS figures, 26.1% of women are employed in full-time positions, 21.3% are working part-time and more than 50% of women unaccounted for in the paid workforce. To put this in perspective, 3 million women work full-time compared to 13 million women who don’t. 13 million workers would do a lot to fill the skills and labour shortages that businesses are experiencing right now, but there’s nothing in place to address the barriers women face in participating in the workforce, namely logistical support in terms of childcare and domestic responsibility. Frankly, childcare support next July is too long to wait.
Young people find it difficult to enter and complete their training
A $1.1 billion boost to TAFE courses to encourage young people into trades is helpful, but we need to consider the long-term attractiveness of apprenticeships so that they are completed with confidence. We’re talking about pay. Wages during an apprenticeship are hard going for young people and career changers. Sure, they always have been, but there’s no point keeping them low just because they always have been. Boost this industry in terms of training AND living costs, and the skills will follow.
Simply inviting people from overseas won’t make them come
The Government has announced an additional 35,000 migration places to help mitigate the accounting skills shortage, but without further support of family-friendly visas and more attractive future prospects, we don’t offer enough to be competitive with other countries.
People will make the huge step to come to Australia for a better life. Work is just one element of that. There is a global skills shortage so we need to bump Australia up as an attractive and approachable place to come – and that means a more efficient visa process and longer-term prospects.
If you would like to discuss ways to refine your team for maximum productivity and utilise the government initiatives available, join our complimentary Business Workshop on 18 October and find more profit and time in your business.