Business welcomes Prime Minister’s emphasis on workplace relations and skills

24 Jun 2019 |

Australia’s largest and most representative business network, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomes the Prime Minister’s commitment to review Australia’s Industrial Relations system and reform Vocational Education and Training.

“It is fitting that the Prime Minister set out an agenda to lift productivity, with an emphasis on workplace relations and skills, at a Chamber of Commerce event in Western Australia today,” Australian Chamber CEO, James Pearson, said.

“During the Federal Election the Australian Chamber, on behalf of our chamber of commerce and industry association members, called for collaboration not conflict in workplace relations and action to address the collapse in skills. These issues are critically important for business, particularly small businesses which make up 98% of all business and employ over five million Australians.

“We agree with the Prime Minister that reforms to vocational training are a high priority.  We must address the real funding decline across the entire system, as well as the collapse in apprenticeship numbers.

“This issue can only be solved through all Governments working cooperatively with industry, so it is good to hear it is a first-order issue for COAG.

“We look forward to working with the Minister for Employment, Skills, and Small & Family Business Michaelia Cash, as she implements decisions made in the Budget to establish a National Skills Commission and Career Institute.

“We strongly support the Prime Minister’s announcement to take a fresh look at the workplace relations system.

“Our members have told us repeatedly that the current system is a minefield of unnecessary processes, procedures, and legalities which frustrate everyone, employers and employees alike.

“We need practical workplace relations reforms, so that employers and employees can find more productive ways of working and create the rewarding and skilled jobs of the future.

“We cannot afford for Australia’s workplace relations framework to remain a barrier to improved competitiveness and productivity.

“The network of businesses we represent will make a strong business case for sensible improvements. We look forward to working with the Minister for Industrial Relations, Attorney-General Christian Porter, to ensure our workplace relations system encourages job creation, delivers job flexibility for both employers and employees, and is simpler and more practical to use – especially for small businesses.

“We encourage the Parliament to support policies that make Australia a better place to do business – so that Australians can have the jobs, living standards and opportunities to which they aspire. ”

The Australian Chamber is Australia’s largest network of employers, speaking for over 300,000 businesses employing millions of Australians in every sector of the economy, in every corner of Australia. Our Small Business is a Big Deal campaign gives voice to what small businesses need from the federal government, and our Getting on with Business recommends ways to make Australia the best place in the world to do business, so that Australians have the jobs, living standards and opportunities to which they aspire

Emily Kennelly

Senior Adviser – Public Affairs and Advocacy

P  |  0438 730 772

E  |  [email protected]

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