TREASURER OUT OF TOUCH AND OUT OF IDEAS ON THE FUTURE OF WORK AND SKILLS

3 Aug 2016

The Turnbull government’s complete ignorance of the problems facing the Australian workforce has been put on public display by the Treasurer today.

SENATOR THE HON DOUG CAMERON

SHADOW MINISTER FOR SKILLS AND APPRENTICESHIPS

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HOUSING AND HOMELESSNESS

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

TREASURER OUT OF TOUCH AND OUT OF IDEAS ON THE FUTURE OF WORK AND SKILLS

The Turnbull government’s complete ignorance of the problems facing the Australian workforce has been put on public display by the Treasurer today.

 When asked how older Australians would be able to work in the hot sun until 70, Scott Morrison told The Courier Mail: "That’s what transition’s about."

 Labor rejects the idea that transitioning our economy beyond the mining boom requiresgiving Australians the oldest pensionable age in the developed world.

 It should not mean forcing Australians to work until they are 70, particularly in physically-demanding occupations that result in long-term medical problems.

 Businesses cannot simply become more "flexible" or “tap into the experience of older Australians” because the Treasurer waves his arms around and says so.

 According to the Committee for Economic Development of Australia’s report Australia's future workforce?, transitioning our economy means creating a culture of innovation driven by the private sector, educational institutions and government. 

 The Government needs to lead the way with clear and detailed education, innovation and technology policies that are properly funded.

 CEDA notes that commitment by Government's to link education and innovation policy with funding is significantly lacking in Australia compared with other countries.

 This is creating significant long-term problems for skills development and apprenticeships.

 Our economic transition is not helped by theTurnbull Government’s determination to driveAustralia’s vehicle manufacturing and components sectors offshore.

 It is hampered by the Government cuttingalmost $2.5 billion from vocational training, skills and apprenticeships in their last three Budgets.

 And it is particularly held back by the gutting of skills programs targeted at disadvantaged groups, like the Australian Apprenticeships Access Program and the Workplace English Language and Literacy Program. 

 Scott Morrison’s simplistic advice shows how out of touch and lacking in ideas the TurnbullGovernment is on the future of workforce skills in this country.

 They are incapable of understanding the challenges of the new economy and this can only harm our progress on increasing the productive performance of Australians and the economy.

 WEDNESDAY, 3 AUGUST 2016