This issue of VDC News will focus a lot on the Commonwealth Government White Paper on Employment, and with good reason – it offers a lot of insights in terms of the way things are heading for the Australian workforce and to help address their associated training needs.

The full report ‘Working future’ provides a rich insight into the Government’s thinking and the 5 ambitious objectives that will hopefully contribute to achieving the Government’s vision.

These objectives are:

  1. Delivering sustained and inclusive full employment
  2. Promoting job security and strong, sustainable wage growth
  3. Reigniting productivity growth
  4. Filling skills needs and building our future workforce, and
  5. Overcoming barriers to employment and broadening opportunity.

This article will focus on the ’at a glance’ publication the Government has prepared to compliment the main document. In presenting a succinct summary of the roadmap described in the ‘at a glance’ to the White Paper, we draw on heavily on its text in this article and highlight the 10 priority areas identified. These are:

  1. Strengthening economic foundations by placing full employment at the heart of the Government’s institutions and policy frameworks, progressing an improved productivity agenda and strengthening the foundations for secure, fairly paid jobs.
  2. Modernising industry and regional policy so people, communities and businesses are better positioned to withstand the challenges and reap the benefits provided by the opportunities of technological change and broaden and deepen Australia’s industrial base.
  3. Planning for Australia’s future workforce by coordinating skill priorities and policies, and meeting workforce needs in key areas such as the growing care and support sector and addressing the effects of technological change, including moves towards a net zero transformation.
  4. Broadening access to foundation skills “by working towards universal access to affordable, quality early childhood education and care, improving school outcomes and expanding access to adult learning opportunities that help people find and keep a secure, fairly paid job.”
  5. Investing in skills, tertiary education and lifelong learning “by increasing the share of Australians studying in areas of high skills need, improving collaboration between the vocational and higher education sectors, and removing barriers to learning across the course of people’s lives.” (This is the focus of another article in this issue.)
  6. Reforming the migration system “through better targeting skilled migration, improving the employment outcomes of international students and realising the employment potential of migrants.”
  7. Building capabilities through employment services “by setting out clear principles for future reform and implementing changes in an evidence-based way that applies learnings from evaluations and accounts for the needs of local labour markets and individuals.”
  8. Reducing barriers to work “by addressing disincentives to participate, improving the quality of support for people with disability, and promoting gender equality.”
  9. Partnering with communities “to achieve genuine place-based change informed by community needs, deepening ties with social enterprise and partnering with First Nations people to support economic development.”
  10. Promoting inclusive, dynamic workplaces “by working with employers to foster workplace diversity, collaborating with businesses through the employment services system and improving the quality and transparency of data to measure workplace performance.”

As mentioned above, another article in this issue will focus on the development of responsive education systems, particularly in the tertiary space. Yet another article is taking a look at the moves to develop a skills passport, another focus of the White Paper.