Outcomes from the 2022 Jobs & Skills Summit
Now that the Jobs & Skills Summit is over, what next? In this summary, we’ll give you an overview of what was discussed and what solutions have been flagged for action to address the existing workforce challenges.
The Australian Federal Government’s Jobs & Skills Summit, held 1-2 September 2022, aimed to find constructive solutions to the challenges facing the Australian labour market and economy. Prior to the event, a series of smaller consultations had been held with industries across the nation, to better understand the challenges being faced, and what opportunities may be available to develop solutions in both the short and long term.
The key areas for action included:
- A better skilled, better trained workforce
- Addressing skills shortages and strengthening the migration system
- Boosting job security and wages, and creating safe, fair and productive workplaces
- Promoting equal opportunities and reducing barriers to employment
- Maximising jobs and opportunities in our industries and communities
Each of these areas included immediate actions and areas for further work, with existing complementary commitments to support these actions highlighted.
A better skilled, better trained workforce
- 465,000 additional free-free TAFE places will be fast-tracked, with 180,000 to be delivered in 2023.
- Establishment of a Jobs & Skills Work Plan will that consults with all stakeholders and build long term capacity in priority sectors.
- Exploration of ways to support apprenticeships and increase completions.
- Reform in kick-start skills sector and restart discussions for a 5-year National Skills Agreement.
Addressing skills shortages and strengthening the migration system
- Increase the permanent migration program to 195,000 in 2022-23 to ease critical skills shortages.
- Maintain the relaxation of work restrictions on Student Visas until 30 June 2022 to help ease workforce shortages.
- Making up to $575 million available for investment in social and affordable housing.
- Increase to duration of post study work rights by allowing 2 additional years of stay for recent graduates with select degrees in in areas of verified skill shortages
Boosting job security and wages, and creating safe, fair and productive workplaces
- Give the Fair Work Commission capacity to help workers and businesses reach agreements that benefit them, particularly new entrants, and small and medium businesses.
- Establishment of a tripartite National Construction Industry Forum to promote constructive approaches to mental health, safety, training, culture, diversity, etc. within the industry.
- Initiate a detailed consultation and research process on the concept of a living wage, reporting back in late 2023.
- Initiate a detailed consultation and research process considering the impact of workplace relations settings (such as rostering arrangements) on work and care, including childcare.
Promoting equal opportunities and reducing barriers to employment
- Provide age pensioners with a temporary upfront $4,000 income bank credit to allow them to work and earn more before their pension is reduced.
- Strengthen existing reporting standards to require employers with 500 or more employees to commit to measurable targets to improve gender equality in their workplaces.
- Work with other levels of government to explore options that drive co-ordination at the local level and address barriers to employment among disadvantaged groups and the long-term unemployed.
- Work with members of the National Closing the Gap Agreement to examine a Closing the Gap policy partnership on economic participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
Maximising jobs and opportunities in our industries and communities
- Deliver 1,000 digital traineeships in the Australian Public Service over four years, with a focus on opportunities for women, First Nations people, older Australians, and veterans transitioning to civilian life.
- Examine ways to build scale in local manufacturing.
- Support clean energy supply chain resilience and jobs growth by increasing Australia’s value adding, and clean energy manufacturing industries.
- Review STEM programs to attract and retain more women, First Nations people, Australians in regions, those who are culturally and linguistically diverse, people with a disability and Australians from low socio-economic backgrounds.
Much more was discussed across the 2-day summit, which will form the basis of an employment white paper that will map the direction for our Government to reduce unemployment and underemployment and keep them low.
View the full list of actions and goals from the Summit.