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ACTU, Ai Group, ACCI and BCA launch their ‘Declaration of common interests in skills and training‘ ahead of today’s jobs summit.

Australia must address current labor and skills shortages and must modernize skills and training systems to meet current and future opportunities and challenges. To achieve this, unions and business groups have worked together to define reforms in the mutual benefit of learners, employers and employees, and the Australian economy and society as a whole.

Together, we recommend that the Albanian government work with industry (trade unions and employers) and state and territory governments to:

1. Urgently establish Jobs and Skills Australia, as the agency responsible for providing advice to government and industry partners on economy-wide labor needs to guide the allocation of investment in skills.
2. Invest in vocational education and training by providing real and sustainable funding increases to ensure the system meets labor market needs and increases accountability, with reforms focusing on learner outcomes.
3. Reinvigorate and adapt Australia’s apprenticeship system by increasing funding from the October 2022 Budget. The investment is to increase wage subsidies for apprentices, provide completion incentive payments for employers and apprentices, and payments for mentoring programs for apprentices.
4. Ensure basic skills, including digital literacy, for all Australians. This should be done by updating the National Basic Skills Strategy for Adults to recognize the impact of digital disruption; update national language, literacy, numeracy and digital skills strategies to include tangible and realistic KPIs to ensure accountability; and increased funding for initiatives to provide relevant training.
5. Support lifelong learning to ensure the workforce adapts to ever-changing needs through incentives to upskill and increase the delivery and integration of more training options flexible.

Quotes attributable to Ai Group Managing Director Innes Willox:

“Ai Group has long advocated for action to create a revitalized and appropriately funded vocational training and education system. VET is the foundation of our nation’s skills. Never before has the demand for skills been as urgent or more important. Job Creation and Skills Australia is a crucial step in creating a high performing training sector with industry engagement at all levels. The task ahead is vast, feasible and urgent.

Quotes attributable to ACCI CEO Andrew McKellar:

“This joint statement is a powerful demonstration by leading business and labor organizations that there is a genuine willingness to work together where we share common ground.

“The best way to grow our workforce and prepare for the future against recurring shortages is to train Australians. Skills reform is needed to deliver consistent funding increases to education and training. professional training and increase the number of apprentices, ensuring that the system is in line with the needs of the industry.”

Quotes attributable to the Executive Director of the Business Council, Jennifer Westcott:

“It is the Australians with the best skills in the world who will lead us to the border, provide us with new opportunities and build a more productive economy with better jobs, so getting it right is essential. work ahead is monumental but with a common goal business, trade unions and government can put Australians in the box for good jobs in new and developing industries, and make Australia a world leader in education, skills and lifelong learning.

Quotes attributable to CUTA President Michele O’Neil:

“The upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit presents us with a unique opportunity for national reform and ACTU, Ai Group, ACCI and BCA are working together in the national interest to expand, modernize and make more accessible our skills and training system.

“We must do all we can to stop the growth of inequality in Australia – by investing in skills and training, we can provide Australian workers with greater opportunities, end skills shortages and be ready for the jobs of today and tomorrow Our economy and workforce never stop growing and changing, and neither does education Through investment in VET and TAFE, national strategies when it comes to foundational skills, learning and lifelong learning, we can ensure that no worker is left behind.”

Read the full statement here