Australians joined together at the Jobs and Skills Summit to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the country’s economy and employment market. As a result, the Summit’s consensus led to immediate actions and opportunities for medium- and long-term reform for a more productive workforce. Furthermore, the Treasury website provides a summary of the Jobs and Skills Summit 2022.
Many of the initiatives may have a considerable impact on employers and their business operations. For your reference, we have included a summary of the Jobs and Skills Summit 2022 below.
An educated and skilled workforce
Initially, Jobs and Skills Australia will be established as an independent body to strengthen workforce planning. Under the Jobs and Skills Australia work plan, the government will build long-term capability in priority sectors in consultation with all stakeholders and jurisdictions. Therefore, different sectors will gain more skilled workers shortly. In addition, the Australian Skills Guarantee will include sub-targets for women and emphasize the importance of digital skills in partnership with states and territories.
Increasing migration and addressing skills shortages
To alleviate widespread, critical skills shortages, the government will increase the permanent migration program planning level to 195,000 in 2022-23. Furthermore, to alleviate skills and labour shortages, relax work restrictions for students and training visa holders until 30 June 2023. In addition, the government will also provide temporary skilled workers with pathways to permanent residency.
Safe, fair, productive workplaces and job security
Along with updating the Fair Work Act, the government will support the Fair Work Commission to develop cooperative workplace relationships. Moreover, the Commission will convene two expert panels to examine pay equity and care and community sectors. Furthermore, the Commission will simplify, make flexible, and ensure fairness of the Better Off Overall Test for workers and employers. The Fair Work Commission will be empowered to issue minimum standards for a new form of work, such as gig work, that are “employee-like”.
Reducing barriers to employment and promoting equal opportunities
As part of the government’s gender equality initiative, employers with 500 employees or more will commit to measurable targets to improve gender equality. In addition, businesses with 100 or more employees will publicly report on the gender pay gap.
Creating more jobs and opportunities in communities and industries
Over four years, the Australian Public Service will offer 1,000 digital traineeships focusing on women, First Nations people, older Australians, and veterans transitioning to civilian life. Additionally, the government will work to develop a National Energy Workforce Strategy to address skilled workforce shortages.