Government hears the call of business on skills & IR

26 May 2020 |

Highlighting skills and industrial relations as the first two key agenda issues to be addressed in the Government’s JobMaker approach is to be applauded.

Following the Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Press Club Speech today, ACCI is also encouraged by the invitation to sit down with other industrial parties to discuss historic IR reform to aid in Australia’s economic recovery.

“Firstly, it was great to hear the PM say that the Federal Government is willing to invest more in VET in return for a more effective national agreement with the State and territory Governments,” ACCI CEO James Pearson said.

“It is to be hoped, however, that VET does not have to wait until reform is completed before that investment is made, as one of the biggest issues has been the lack of consistent, overall funding growth in VET.  That is the biggest single reform that needs to be made.

“Greater consistency in funding support for qualifications, highlighted in the Diploma of Nursing and Cert III in Blinds and Awnings example, is also an important issue which the National Skills Commission is charged with the task of working through.

Mr Pearson said that while changes to Australia’s industrial relations system have traditionally been an area of tension, the COVID-19 pandemic has shown the aims of industrial parties are often not far removed from one another, particularly where discussions occur based on a foundation of goodwill, openness and trust.

“ACCI along with the AiG and the ACTU have successfully negotiated a series of vital temporary changes to a number of award in industries hit hardest by COVID-19 including the restaurant, fast food and the vehicles industry awards.

“This experience has helped solidify a strong working relationship between ACCI, AiG and the ACTU and we look forward to building on this foundation when we sit down once again, to work on the five substantial areas for IR reform identified in today’s address by the Prime Minister to assist in the recovery.”

“Our current IR system is not fit for purpose given the scale of the economic downturn experienced by business and the jobs challenge that we now face as a nation. It makes sense that it be at the forefront of our recovery.”

“As the PM highlighted in his speech to the press club, small businesses are crucial to jobs recovery. Currently small business owners are forced to navigate a confusing and complex web of modern awards.

“Award simplification is therefore going to be vital to encouraging small and family businesses owners in some of the hardest hit sectors of our economy to have the confidence to create and employ more Australians. ACCI is particularly pleased this will be an area of focus for discussion, as it has long been a key area for concern for ACCI members.”

Marie Hogg

Senior Adviser - Media

P  |  0431 299 518

E  |  [email protected]

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