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The Business Council of Australia (BCA) has given a warm reception to the
Prime Minister announcement of a jobs-led recovery and a workplace relations
system that generates the creation of more jobs and fairer wages.
“The strength and speed of our recovery will depend on our ability to
create new jobs, attract new businesses and build new industries,” BCA chief
executive Jennifer Westacott said. “The Prime Minister is absolutely right that
businesses creating jobs are at centre of the economy.”
Westacott described the plan as “sensible and practical” and believes it
has the potential break the current impasse on workplace relations reform.
“The Business Council will be at the table working constructively to
drive the recovery by reshaping the workplace relations system so employers can
create more jobs and workers can share the gains of higher wages and improved
conditions,” Westacott said. “The significance of this opportunity cannot be
understated. The Prime Minister’s way forward by setting up problem-solving
working groups gives business, unions, and workers a rare chance to once and
for all reform the system so that it benefits the entire community.”
Bemoaning the current skills system as “clunky and out-dated”, Westacott
said that a revamped workplace relations system would enables businesses to
adapt, scale up and grow in response to rapid change.
“The COVID-19 crisis has brought the flaws in our skills systems into
sharp focus,” Westacott said. “Distorted funding between VET and Higher
Education has created a skills mismatch and workers and students don’t have the
information they need to make good decisions. Skills reform will mean that
people can not only re-skill faster, but they will be learning the skills that
industry needs and the skills that will power the recovery.”
The BCA believes that it is now more important than ever to fast-track
the acquisition of new skills, on the basis that that is how they get back into
the workforcethat businesses need because that it will allow them the quickest
route back into the workforce.
“Together we can give Australians the best skills in the world, strengthen our workplace relations system so it works for employees and employers and make it easier to create the new jobs we will need,” Westacott concluded.