'Immediate outcomes' from jobs summit

·3-min read

IMMEDIATE OUTCOMES FROM JOBS AND SKILLS SUMMIT

* $1 billion one-year National Skills Agreement providing additional funding for fee-free TAFE in 2023, while a longer-term agreement is negotiated

* Accelerate the delivery of 465,000 additional fee-free TAFE places, with 180,000 to be delivered next year, and with costs shared with the states and territories on a 50:50 basis

* The federal government will legislate Jobs and Skills Australia and establish a work plan for the new agency to address workforce shortages and build long term capacity in priority sectors

* Jobs and Skills Australia will commission a study on the clean energy workforce

* Age pensioners to get a temporary upfront $4000 income bank credit to allow them to work and earn more before their pension is reduced

* Increase the permanent migration program planning level to 195,000 in 2022/23 to help ease widespread critical skills shortages

* Provide $36.1 million in additional funding to accelerate visa processing and resolve the visa backlog

* Increase the duration of post-study work rights by allowing two additional years of stay for recent graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skills shortages

* Extend the relaxation of work restrictions for student and training visa holders until June 30, 2023, to help ease skills and labour shortages

* Widen the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, making up to $575 million available to invest in social and affordable housing. The funding can be used to partner with other tiers of government, social housing providers, private capital and super funds

* National Construction Industry Forum to bring together government, business and unions to address mental health, safety, training, apprentices, productivity, culture, diversity and gender equity in the industry

* Fair Work Act (FWA) to be amended to ensure all workers and businesses can negotiate in good faith for agreements that benefit them, including small businesses, women, care and community services sectors, and First Nations people

* The Act will also be amended to remove unnecessary limitations on access to single and multi-employer agreements

* Simplified and fairer Better Off Overall Test in the FWA.

* Give Fair Work Commission the capacity to proactively help workers and businesses reach agreements that benefit them, particularly new entrants, and small and medium businesses

* Ensures the process for agreement terminations is fit for purpose and fair, and sunsets so called 'zombie' agreements

* The FWA will also be changed to provide proper support for employer bargaining representatives and union delegates; provide stronger access to flexible working arrangements and unpaid parental leave; and provide stronger protections for workers against adverse action, discrimination, and harassment

* The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations will start consulting on the changes next week

* Stronger reporting standards to require employers with 500 or more employees to commit to measurable targets to improve gender equality in their workplaces

* Businesses with 100 employees or more to publicly report their gender pay gap to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency

* The Australian Public Service to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency and to set targets to improve gender equity in the public service

* Tech Council of Australia to develop and deliver a free national virtual work experience program

* Tourism industry pilot project to boost jobs for people with disability

* Memorandum of Understanding with the Business Council of Australia to develop an economic initiative pilot aimed at increasing employment and improving career pathways of people with a disability

* Better embedding employment in National Disability Insurance Scheme plans, to ensure participants who want to work are supported to do so

* Digital and Tech Skills Compact with business and unions to deliver 'digital apprenticeships' that will support workers to earn while they learn in entry level tech roles

* 1000 digital traineeships in the Australian Public Service over four years

* Commonwealth and South Australian government will co-chair a South Australian Defence Industry Workforce and Skills Task Force to support delivery of Australia's defence capabilities, including critical maritime capabilities such as frigates and submarines.