Legislation to establish Jobs and Skills Australia permanently

Image credit: jobsandskills.gov.au

Minister for Skills and Training Brendan O’Connor announced that the Jobs and Skills Australia Amendment Bill, which establishes the permanent functions and governance arrangements for JSA, has been introduced to Parliament as the Albanese Government continues to address the national skills crisis.

The bill will create a tripartite Ministerial Advisory Board comprised of representatives from state and territory governments, labour organisations, employers, and specialists, as stated in a media release. 

 “Advice from the Ministerial Advisory Board will ensure JSA’s guidance to government on current and emerging workforce needs is informed by a wide range of views, insights and expertise,” Minister O’Connor remarked. 

The bill makes it mandatory for JSA to consult with the tripartite Ministerial Advisory Board when developing its work plan. 

This will guarantee that JSA’s work involves extensive consultation with stakeholders in order to alleviate labour shortages and establish long-term capacity in critical sectors. 

Additionally, the bill requires that the work plan solicit public submissions.

“A lack of skilled workers is one of the biggest economic challenges currently facing Australia and JSA will play a critical role in addressing Australia’s current and emerging workforce skills and training needs,” Minister O’Connor said.

A permanently constituted JSA, he claimed, will develop a work plan to assist the Australian Government in enhancing skill development, employment opportunities, and economic growth.

JSA will not only address the current skills shortage, but it will also result in more strategic planning and financial support for education and training, both of which are crucial for restoring manufacturing capacity through the National Reconstruction Fund and developing the necessary infrastructure for Australia.

The Australian government held extensive consultations on the permanent model of JSA, which will analyse the labour market to make sure the government invests in the right education and training to meet the needs of the present and future.

“According to the OECD, Australia has the second highest labour supply shortage. If we are to be a productive nation we need expert advice on investing in developing the skills of our nation, which is what JSA will deliver,” Minister O’Connor noted.

A stronger emphasis on the study of regional, rural, and distant places is one of the new tasks that have been proposed. 

Another new function is aiding decision-making in regard to Australia’s Migration Program.

The minister also noted that Jobs and Skills Australia has already started working on foundation skills research and has partnered with important stakeholders to launch its first capacity assessment on the clean energy industry.