JobMaker plan to get economy “out of the ICU”



News

By Loren Webb

Yesterday, in an announcement, Scott Morrison revealed a ‘JobMaker’ plan to strengthen and grow the economy post-lockdown by focussing on equipping Australians with in-demand skills, assisting key industries such as manufacturing, working on a new tax system and more.

He said that the emergency stimulus measures had kept the economy going but that it was now time to get the economy “out of the ICU.” The short-term stimulus boost is now being taken over by this new JobMaking agenda.

Details of the plan are expected to be rolled out in further communications from the federal government, however Mr Morrison listed the below points in the set up for economic success over the next three to five years.

  • Skills
  • Industrial relations
  • Energy and resources
  • Higher education
  • Research and science
  • Open banking
  • The digital economy
  • Trade
  • Manufacturing
  • Infrastructure and regional development
  • Deregulation and federation reform
  • A tax system to support jobs and investment

Further components of the JobMaker plan will be addressed in the weeks and months ahead, ahead of the Budget in October.

Skills

Skills seemed an integral part of the JobMaker, with the Prime Minister saying, “We need Australians better trained for the jobs businesses are looking to create because that’s important.”

He said that at a federal level there are three key issues to overcome; the complexity of a clunky system (and therefore unresponsive to new skill demands), a lack of clear information about that those ‘in-demand’ skills are and an inconsistent, incoherent funding system with too little accountability.

Andrew Campbell, Executive Director at the Institute of Data, agrees with the JobMaker’s focus on skills.

“Scott Morrison is right. The vocational skills and training industry in Australia is broken, but the problem goes further than just vocational training. Ask any employer of talent in the Cybersecurity and Data Science fields if there are enough skilled workers out there in Australia to meet their needs and the answer is a resounding no.

“We do not have a crisis of talent but we do have a training crisis and this has been evident for several years now. Australians have the will and the motivation to retrain and reskill, we just need to provide the right frameworks and pathways to succeed.”

Industrial Relations

Minister for Industrial Relations, the Attorney-General, Christian Porter will lead the Industrial Relations reform section of the JobMaker.

Scott Morrison said, “Christian Porter will lead a new, time-bound, dedicated process bringing employers, industry groups, employee representatives and government to the table to chart a practical reform agenda, a job making agenda, for Australia’s industrial relations system.”

The plan is for the Minister discuss and eventually agree on the following areas:

  • Award simplification
  • Enterprise agreement making
  • Casuals and fixed term employees, made even more prescient by recent changes through the Fair Work Commission
  • Compliance and enforcement
  • Greenfields agreements for new enterprises

By “time-bound,” the Prime Minister explained that this is expected to run only until September as the government “must move quickly” in stimulating a ‘new normal’ economy.

Currently, from what Scott Morrison has said, there doesn’t seem to be much in regards to how the government plan to actually encourage and incentivise these intended changes for people, businesses or investors.

More details to come

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