The ACTU welcomes the new Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) bill which has also been supported by employers, unions, state and territory governments and education and training providers.
According to the OECD, Australia has the second highest labour supply shortage in the developed world.
The bill will guide the governments approach on identifying and developing skills across the nation.
The bill introduces several functions which will help build and evidence base around skill shortages, their location and industry, as well as addressing specific priority cohorts, such as women, First Nations Australians, those over 55, those with disability, also culturally and linguistically diverse Australians, young people, and unpaid carers.
Unlike the National Skills Commission which JSA is replacing, JSA has a defined role for industry in providing input and expertise into skills planning.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Liam O’Brien:
“The full establishment of JSA shows the government’s commitment to addressing our ongoing skills challenges and is welcomed by unions.
“After a decade of neglect it is a relief for Australians that their government is committed to put in the hard yards to not only understand where skills shortages exist but develop policies that seek to address them.
“It beggars’ belief that the Coalition would vote against an evidence-led and industry-informed skills policy when so many other stakeholders welcome it.
“I can’t imagine why anyone who is serious about creating secure and decent jobs and future prosperity would vote against the bill”.