Jobs Summit is just the start of a rare chance for deep thinking
1 September 2022
Targeted skills and migration reform must be a key outcome from the Jobs and Skills Summit.
The most recent data shows there are 480,100 job vacancies while there are currently 473,600 Australians looking for work.
ABA Chief Executive Anna Bligh said the ABA supports an increased migration intake to fill widespread labour shortages. Australia needs people at all skill levels – from the most basic to the most advanced.
Ms Bligh said, “Australia’s banks know their small and medium business customers are being held back by labour shortages. Retailers need people to stack shelves, hospitality needs bartenders and chefs, farmers need pickers to harvest crops. It’s a stark reality that labour shortages are crippling businesses and preventing growth”.
“We must not ignore calls from small businesses across the country who are struggling with access to workers to fill semi or unskilled positions which keep the economy ticking”.ABA CEO Anna Bligh
“At the advanced level we know we have a critical shortage of high-tech skills. Analysis by the Digital Skills Organisation shows Australia needs an additional 60,000 digital professionals per year to meet growing demand, however we’re currently only seeing 10,000 students graduating with IT qualifications each year.”
“We need to urgently fill this gap. Skilled migrants with advanced technical and digital skills can help drive productivity and contribute to upskilling our own workforce.”
“Australia risks its global competitiveness if there is any complacency on migration and skilling our people for the future.”
Along with the rest of the economy, Australian banks need high tech, digital skills to ensure cyber safety, protect customers from fraud and continue the transition to a digital economy.
“Analysis by the Digital Skills Organisation shows Australia needs an additional 60,000 digital professionals per year to meet growing demand, however we’re currently only seeing 10,000 students graduating with IT qualifications each year.”
The ABA is advocating for a migration program which will address jobs and skills shortages through proposed initiatives including:
- The Government’s new agency, Jobs and Skills Australia, advising on the make-up of the migration program to ensure skills and migration policies complement each other.
- An international campaign to promote that ‘Australia is open’ and will not close.
- Reconfiguring pathways to permanent residency through Australia’s visa programs to make it easier for great talent to call Australia home.
- Accreditation system which better recognises the skills and training provided in workplaces.
Ms Bligh said, “We must attract and build skills, jobs and capacity across the emergent areas of our economy to position Australia for growth and prosperity”.
“The Summit should work towards delivering short-term practical outcomes and also generational outcomes to position the Australian economy for the future.”
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