- The new Australian government will hold a Jobs + Skills Summit on 1-2 September. The goal of the Summit is to “find common ground on how Australia can build a bigger, better trained and more productive workforce, boost real wages and living standards and create more opportunities for more Australians.”
- The key areas of focus will be: maintaining full employment and growing productivity; boosting job security and wages; lifting participation and reducing barriers to employment; delivering a high quality labour force through skills, training and migration; and maximising opportunities in the industries of the future.
- Key outcomes we would be looking to see are: a rapid increase in the skilled migration intake to reduce stress in the labour market, a focus on skills and training to better connect the unemployed with job vacancies, a specific focus on increasing the participation rate for those facing difficulty entering the labour market, a deep understanding of the changing nature of the labour market, including in the ‘caring industry’, the drive to reduce carbon intensity, an increase in renewable energy and the mining sector, ‘green’ industries and the digital economy.
- In the end the Summit must focus on improving productivity – as this will be the best way to ensure an increase in the return on labour (income) and improve living standards across Australia.
Jobs + Skills Summit
The Australian government will hold a Jobs + Skills Summit at Parliament House in Canberra on 1st - 2nd September, as promised during the election campaign.
Ahead of the Summit the Commonwealth Treasury1 has released an Issues Paper, designed to outline the key points of discussion at the Summit and some key objectives. The issues paper states that “the goal of the Summit is to find common ground on how Australia can build a bigger, better trained and more productive workforce; boost real wages and living standards; and create more opportunities for more Australians.” The Treasury Issues Paper notes that the Summit will cover five broad themes:
- Maintaining full employment and growing productivity.
- Boosting job security and wages.
- Lifting participation and reducing barriers to employment.
- Delivering a high quality labour force through skills, training and migration, and
- Maximising opportunities in the industries of the future.
In addition, the Issues Paper notes that “even before Covid-19, nominal wage growth had been weak and real wages had not risen significantly for around a decade. The ongoing effects of Covid-19, high inflation, rising interest rates, global economic uncertainty and disrupted supply chains further compound these challenges, which are holding back the potential of our economy and country.
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Our economic expert
Stephen Halmarick is Chief Economist and Head of Global Economic & Markets Research at Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He was appointed to the Chief Economist role in April 2020 – having been the Head of the Global Economic & Markets Research team since January 2018. Stephen is responsible for the team of economists and strategists that cover Australian Economics, International Economics, Rates, Fixed Income, Foreign Exchange, Credit and Commodities research. Stephen is also a key spokesperson to clients and media on macroeconomic themes and a broad range of financial market issues.