Business Says More Investment In Skills Is Needed
5 March 2010
The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Australia’s largest and most representative business organisation, has called on the Australian Government, education providers, and the business community to focus on long term investment in skills, as Australia emerges from the current global economic downturn.
ACCI’s Employment, Education and Training Policy Director Mary Hicks made the call at the launch of the Skills Australia report Workforce Futures.
“Australia’s future productivity will depend on a reliable supply of skilled workers. In particular, co-ordinated measures will need to be taken to increase the numbers of apprentices and to encourage their completion. ACCI research indicates that employers can make a big difference by taking a systematic approach to the retention of apprentices” Ms Hicks said.
A systematic approach should focus on:
- Attracting the right person
- Recruiting and inducting good apprentices
- Making work and training meaningful
- Poviding personal and professional support
- Providing effective training
- Making full use of information and support services
ACCI congratulates employers and the Australian Government on achieving the goal of 21,000 apprenticeship enrolments during this last summer period. It is a demonstration of the value of incentives to employers and has helped to limit possible youth unemployment as the economy recovers.
“As Australia emerges from the global economic downturn, skills shortages will become more acute," Ms Hicks said.
This is already evident in Western Australia and some sectors and regions. In particular, resources projects will require an ongoing supply of work-ready employees with relevant technical skills.
The success of the Australian Government’s Apprentice Kickstart program shows what can be achieved when business and government work co-operatively to boost skills.