Unions will release an action plan at Thursday’s jobs forum to guide the government, industry and workers through future economic challenges.
Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney says priorities for the forum should be local content rules, a crackdown on dumping and stronger enforcement of labour rights.
The unions’ action plan will ask the federal government to commission, audit and independently review to identify jobs promotion opportunities.
“The commodities boom will not last forever so to ensure we continue to reap its benefits for generations to come, we must put long-term sustainable jobs creation (at) the centre of economic policy,” Ms Kearney said in a statement.
About 100 representatives from business, unions, government and academia will gather in Canberra on Thursday for the jobs forum.
It is aimed at positioning the nation to make the most of the changing global economy.
Unions say today’s jobs forum should focus on making sure the benefits of the mining boom last for generations to come.
The ACTU will release its action plan today, asking the government to commission an independent review to identify jobs promotion opportunities.
ACTU president Ged Kearney says priorities for the forum should be local content rules, a crackdown on dumping and stronger enforcement of labour rights.
About 100 representatives from business, unions, government and academia will gather in Canberra for the forum.
It’s aimed at positioning the nation to make the most of the changing global economy.
Skills, Jobs and Workplace Relations Minister Chris Evans said discussions at the jobs forum would be particularly focused on how the “patchwork economy” was effecting jobs across the nation.
“We have effectively got a situation where jobs are moving north and west, and people are being displaced from some industries and there are opportunities in others,” he told ABC Radio on Thursday.
“It is about how we manage that transition, get the skills base right and manage the impacts on people, (where) obviously some are quite severe.”
Senator Evans dismissed a suggestion from the ACTU that the government cut skilled migration through the issuing of 457 visas.
He said the level of skilled migration had to be adjusted yearly to account for areas where the appropriate workers were needed to boost the economy.
“The future for Australia is a balance between educating and skilling our own people,” Senator Evans said.
“Giving them the first opportunity to take advantage of the new jobs in the economy, but topping that up with skilled labour where we need it.”
Industry Minister Kim Carr said Australia could not afford to be complacent about the massive economic changes and social adjustments it faced.
The government wanted to see new and different types of companies form, and old companies transform, he said.
“As a result of people being prepared to engage in a serious discussion about what this country has to do to be more competitive in this current environment, we can actually create more work,” he told ABC Radio before the jobs forum.
But he said the government would not support mandating the percentage of local content.
“If you try to mandate, all you get is a short-term fix without necessarily getting the commitment to change that’s necessary to keep industries competitive,” Senator Carr said.
He did want to see the level of local content used in major projects increased, but said there were other ways of doing so.
The Reinvent Team would like to thank Fairfax Media where this article first appeared.