4 April 2008
Over the next twenty years Australia will face the dual challenge, arising from the ageing of the population, of an increasing number of dependants against its declining taxpaying workforce.
Both issues demonstrate the new opportunities and challenges Australia faces as it grapples with the transition to a supply-constrained economy in which the key inputs of growth, such as labour, skills and infrastructure, are in increasingly short supply.
Despite more than a decade of sustained economic growth and record high levels of employment, approximately 2.3 million people on welfare are outside of the mainstream economy. This is an unacceptable number of individuals who are continuing to miss out on prosperity.
Australia’s unemployed and non-participants in the workforce represent a substantial untapped resource. Increasing the hiring and retention of people from these disadvantaged groups offers multiple benefits to businesses and the wider economy. There are also obvious gains for the individuals themselves, through to wider social and intergenerational benefits in harnessing this untapped labour to help address an ageing workforce.
Business has a major role in leading the policy debate and developing new strategies to address the issue of lifting workforce participation rates.
Drawing on consultations and discussions with business leaders in this area, government and other stakeholders, this checklist outlines key factors that currently act as blocks to hiring non-participants, and outlines measures which business and government can adopt to remove these barriers.
Read or download Engaging our Potential: A Checklist to Reduce Barriers to Workforce Participation below.