Bill's Media Releases


Leaders and experts from business, industry, unions and education will come together in Canberra
today to discuss solutions to the jobs and skills challenges facing Australia.

Labor’s National Jobs and Skills Summit shows that once again Labor is leading the push for the kind of reform we need to create and maintain high wage, high skilled jobs in Australia.

Labor wants to ensure that all Australians have access through their working life to the skills and training they need for a job that enriches their lives, their families and their communities.

Yet it is clear that our Vocational Education and Training Sector is not fit for the future of work.

Labor understands that bold reform is required to ensure we have a highly skilled workforce with decent, well paid jobs as part of a strong and productive national economy in the future.

Today’s summit will look at shaping a quality vocational education and training system for the future, that responds to the needs of the economy and puts TAFE and apprenticeships at the centre of that system.

The summit will also begin to develop a long term plan for education and training that supports seamless transitions between the many jobs Australians will have in the future and the lifetime of learning that will go alongside it.

We are a nation of tradies - 1.6 million Australians hold a trades qualification.

A strong skills system is central to Australia’s working future, and that means vocational education, universities, and schools working together.

Jobs in emerging and growing industries require new, high level skills.

Australia will never have the biggest workforce in our region, but Labor believes we can have the best.

The most productive, the most competitive, the most adaptable and resilient.

That means building the world’s best skills and training system.

Attendees include:

Mr Innes Willox, AiGroup

Mr James Pearson, Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Mr Peter Davidson, Australian Council of Social Services

Ms Ged Kearney, Australian Council of Trade Unions

Ms Jennifer Westacott, Business Council of Australia

Mr Peter Strong, Council of Small Business of Australia


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