It’s funny how an election changes things …

An end to AWAs and a roll back of WorkChoices isn’t the only consequence of last year’s federal election.

Leading employer groups are now working with unions in a search for innovative thinking and creative solutions in order to end Australia’s skills crisis.

The National Skills Policy Collaboration brings together the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Australian Industry Group, Australian Education Union Dusseldorp Skills Forum and Group Training Australia. It will be conducting a roundtable in coming months to communicate the plan and to engage with other stakeholders.

The group has released a ten-point plan to improve the quality and capacity of Australia’s workforce. This includes:

  • Renewed focus on apprenticeship completions;
  • A long-term strategy to improve Australia’s investment in education and training;
  • Skill infrastructure partnerships between public and private sectors;
  • Lifting Year 12 or certificate III completion rates;
  • A national vision and consensus on the future of TAFE;
  • A review of the traineeship program.

President of the ACTU, Sharan Burrow, said there was a need to look at fundamental reform. ‘Australia has a generational opportunity to turn around the skills crisis. Reforms undertaken today will set us up for a new wave of productivity improvement and prosperity,’ she said.