Jobs and Skill Summit lays out workforce actions

September 6, 2022

The Australian Government has published outcomes from its Jobs and Skills Summit, held on 1 and 2 September.

Key to these outcomes are the objectives of full employment and growing productivity. As a result of consensus reached at the summit, a set of actions will be taken to help bolster Australia’s workforce immediately, while priorities for further work and future action were also laid out.

In May 2022, the VHA strongly advocated for a comprehensive workforce plan, highlighting the public health, community health and aged care sector’s need for more workforce data, investment in local skills, and streamlined migration processes.

With a system plagued by workforce shortages across the state, a strategic health workforce plan is required to overcome this shortage and deliver care where it is needed now and in future. The VHA has been consistently calling on the government to streamline the visa process and simplify international recruitment of healthcare workers to help ease current workforce shortages – we were therefore pleased to see these issues on the agenda during the two-day summit.

Outcomes from the summit of particular interest to our members will include:

  • the creation of Jobs and Skills Australia, a statutory body to provide independent advice on current, emerging, and future workforce, skills, and training needs
  • $1 billion towards a one-year National Skills Agreement, for a fee-free TAFE placements in 2023
  • a longer-term agreement to be negotiated between the States and Commonwealth on a new five-year National Skills Agreement
  • increasing the permanent Migration Program planning level to 195,000 in 2022-23
  • increased resourcing to accelerate visa processing and backlogs
  • widening the remit of the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, to make up to $375 million to invest in social and affordable housing.

With workforce one of three overarching themes within our soon-to-be-published state election platform, the VHA will continue to advocate on behalf of all our members to support them through this period of extreme system pressure.

For further information, please contact Juan Paolo Legaspi via juanpaolo.legaspi@vha.org.au or 0403 784 632

 

Click here to read the summit outcomes report.