2022

September 2022

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2022

At the beginning of the month the Jobs and Skills Summit took place in Canberra. Productivity, upskilling and increased engagement were marked as key points of focus. Here we’ve highlighted some key outcomes of the summit.

Productivity

Recent data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirms that there has been a decrease in productivity and a rise in labour costs. Skills shortages and migration issues, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, were listed as notable causes.

The measures taken to help stabilise this include:

  • An increase in Permanent Migration to ease critical skills shortages
  • An injection of $36.1m in additional funding to ease the visa backlog and accelerate visa processing
  • Two years of additional stay for graduates with degrees in areas of verified skills shortages
  • A review of Australia’s migration system will also be conducted to ensure that its structure, purpose and objectives are aligned with future demands and challenges

Upskilling

In pursuit of a better-skilled and better-trained workforce, the government, states and territories have agreed to the following:

  • 1,000 digital apprenticeships in the Australian Public Service that will run over 4 years
  • National Skills Agreement which will provide an additional $1bn in joint funding for fee-free TAFE
  • This will provide 465,000 fee-free TAFE positions
  • To address skills shortages and provide prolonged capacity in affected sectors, the government will also establish the Jobs and Skills Australia work plan

Increased Engagement

Measures are being taken to reduce the barriers to employment and further promote equal opportunities. This includes the following immediate actions:

  • A $4,000 income credit for Age Pensioners over the 2022/23 financial year without impacting their pension payment
  • Businesses with 100+ employees must now report their gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency
  • Amendment of the Fair Work Act to improve access to unpaid parental leave.
  • Stronger protection for workers with respect to any harassment or discrimination

In summary, the outcomes and immediate actions following the Jobs and Skills Summit were substantial. Students and pensioners will help resolve the current skills shortage which will be aided by an increase in skilled migration for the current financial year.

Positive steps to improve workplace relations were also taken. The unions, employers and government have displayed a commitment to proactively collaborate with the intention of improving the Australian workplace. This is to be achieved by promoting a culture of creativity and productivity that centres around good faith negotiation and genuine agreement between all relevant parties.

Further, a tripartite National Construction Industry Forum has been established with the objective of addressing issues of mental health, gender equality, training and safety, along with cultural diversity and productivity.

Collaboration and agreement has seen the building blocks put in place to create a better skilled and more productive workforce. Now the challenge will be securing these blocks together and keeping them stable for an extended period, in what is a challenging economic and changing workplace environment.

 

Interesting Hong Kong Data

  • Hong Kong in Chinese means ‘fragrant harbour’
  • The Central-Mid Levels escalator is the longest covered escalator in the world and runs for more than 800m
  • Hong Kong ranks 6th on the global billionaires list with 71 residents with a personal wealth exceeding US$1 billion
  • Known for having more than 8,000 skyscrapers, Hong Kong is made up of 263 islands, many of which are uninhabited and unreachable
  • The number 4 sounds like death in Chinese and is the reason why most buildings do not have a 4th floor

 

Venue of interest: Little Rogue

A trip to Melbourne wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a true laneway cafe. The directions to Little Rogue say it all: “Blue Door next to the White Cat”. You will witness people sipping on their coffee all along the laneway before entering a vibrant atmosphere inside. It is the perfect combination of cosy, cool and unpretentious. There is some pleasantly surprising decor and the coffee is superb.

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