Skills Response Will Help Meet Economic Needs

The Business Council of Australia said today that the federal government’s response to the Resourcing the Future report would make an important contribution to meeting future workforce requirements of the resources and energy sector.

Acting Chief Executive, Maria Tarrant, said the BCA had recently highlighted the major challenge represented by skills shortages in industries experiencing capacity constraints.

“Australia’s ability to meet the emerging skills requirements within the resources and energy sector will be vital to our economic prospects over the short to medium term,” Ms Tarrant said.

“It will also be important to give consideration to initiatives like those announced today for other sectors of the economy.

“The BCA’s recent budget submission called for policy interventions in key areas.

“Firstly, there is a need to continue to provide flexible and high-quality training opportunities for those seeking to enter areas of employment growth.

“The announcement by the federal government that it will provide the opportunity for experienced workers to gain a full trade apprenticeship qualification in 18 months will significantly improve the flexibility of the current pathway for mature age apprentices.

“Similarly, the implementation of the Critical Skills Investment Fund will enable business to work in partnership with government and training providers to meet local and regional skills requirements.

“The federal government’s response to the Resourcing the Future report is timely and will make an important contribution to meeting the future skills requirements of a key national industry. At the same time, further policy measures will also be necessary.

“The BCA continues to emphasise the importance of ensuring that that skilled migration arrangements, including the temporary 457 visa program, allow business to meet their requirements in a responsive and timely way.

“Meeting the demand for skilled tradespeople in the economy will require a combination of flexible and relevant training arrangements, together with responsive and effective skilled migration policies”, she said.