Yesterday, the people of Australia eagerly awaited Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s address to the nation. The topic of conversation: job creation. After the drastic effects, Covid-19 has had on the economy and working Australian’s, a plan for the next 3-5 years was recently announced by the Government, fittingly titled ‘Job Maker’.
The Prime Minister began his address by highlighting the great work Australians have done so far through this crisis, with every business and individual being affected in one way or another and many who have suffered through this difficult time. Moreover, Mr. Morrison commended the Government’s efforts thus far to keep Australians on their feet through programs such as Job Keeper, Jobseeker, and other stimulus packages.
These Government programs, whilst necessary, have come at a significant cost to the Australian economy. As the Prime Minister pointed out, the 150 billion dollars used to create these initiatives were “all borrowed against future tax revenue” and “can only be temporary”. Furthermore, it was made apparent that “unemployment and underemployment will continue to rise before it falls” and that fixing the economy will certainly not happen overnight.
As a response to these circumstances, the Government has shifted its focus to “win[ning] the battle for jobs”, especially through the vocational education and training (VET) sector. This means equipping young Australians with the qualifications necessary to successfully integrate into trades and other skilled work.
Whilst the Prime Minister didn’t mention any short-term increase in funding, which is currently set at $1.5 billion per year, he did suggest that over the next 3-5 years he is “very committed to investing more, in a better [VET] system”, a positive sign for stakeholders in the TAFE and VET sector.
The key takeaway from yesterday’s address is that job creation will likely come through building the skills of Australians over time, which has shed light on the skills and training sector as a key player in the future of our nation’s success.
Whilst the specific changes involved in the Job Maker program are yet to be expressed, further details will likely be released over the coming months.