The federal government has announced that it will host a jobs and skills summit in Canberra in September, to address what it describes as ‘our shared economic challenges’.
The government is looking to feature a range of sectors, including unions, employers, civil society and governments at an event taking place from September 1-2.
During a press conference, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said that the summit would be an opportunity to help the country create new jobs for the future.
“We also need to have some real discussions about productivity and how we move it forward, whether that be large businesses or small. We know that the way that you boost growth without putting pressure on inflation is to ensure that productivity is the real focus,” the prime minister said.
“That’s a way to boost profits and boost wages whilst boosting the economy.”
Treasury will produce a white paper based on what comes out of the summit.
Treasurer Jim Chalmers told the media that the government is still finalising its guest list, but he anticipated there would be 100 attendees.
“Regardless of whether people are invited to the jobs and skills summit or not, we want to tap this appetite that exists right around Australia to come together after a wasted decade of missed opportunities to solve these big economic challenges and to deliver the better future that everyone in Australia wants to see,” Chalmers said.
When questioned on lifting migration caps to assist with the worker shortage, Albanese said that some short-term skills may be filled by ‘temporary migration’.
“One of the things that we can consider, that I’ve spoken about, is how is [it] that for some particular professions that have been short of supply for such a long period of time, we continue to rely on temporary migration rather than more permanent forms?” Albanese asked rhetorically.
Albanese pointed to Australia’s potential to have a leading renewable energy industry, noting the country’s solar and wind resources.
The prime minister said he did not wish to ‘pre-empt’ any of the outcomes of the summit, as it would be held in September and a budget was due in October.
Shadow minister for industry, skills, and training Sussan Ley has said that the upcoming jobs and skills summit will do nothing to address Australia’s job and skills challenges.
“We already know what we need to build Australia’s workforce, as does the government,” Ley tweeted.
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