Still work to do for business and employee match-making program to address real workforce challenges
A federal election commitment for a technology skills passport to help businesses and skilled employees connect is a positive sign, but there is still work to do to help businesses upskill existing workforces and provide on the job training.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) Policy and Advocacy Manager Cherie Josephson said attracting and retaining suitably skilled staff was among the most significant constraints on business growth.
Ms Josephson said businesses were looking for election commitments to overcome critical labour and skills shortages before heading to the polls, where finding and retaining suitably skilled staff had been an on-going challenge for businesses right across the state and in a range of industries.
“It’s expected a technology skills passport could function a bit like a match-making service between employers and workforces as well as recognising existing skills and experience,” Ms Josephson said.
“This kind of initiative is also needed to help identify skills gaps for upskilling or reskilling purposes, which can benefit businesses through helping them identify the right skills or skills gaps.”
Ms Josephson said CCIQ’s skilled workforce priority identified specific measures businesses needed to address the skills gaps in industries across the state.
“There is still work to do to enable upskilling and reskilling for businesses,” Ms Josephson said.
“While the technology skills passport might help identify skills gaps, it does little to provide incentives and support to address them.
“There also needs to be support to address the skills gaps in regional Queensland, including incentives for workers to relocate where they are needed, or methods for businesses to attract workers to regional areas.
“Finally, there also needs to be improved funding arrangements for training models to incentivise on the job training.”
Ms Josephson said international migration was essential to address the current skills and workforce shortages, and further measures would need to be able to capture international workers’ existing skills and experience.
CCIQ’s submission to the Department of Home Affairs to inform the planning of Australia’s migration program for 2022-23 recommended an increase in overseas migration, a focus on bringing employer-sponsored migrants and an extension of the Designated Area Migration Agreement to include Queensland regions.
The submission recommended a simpler migration process should include upskilling and reskilling opportunities, clear pathways from temporary visas to permanent residency in Australia, and prioritisation of employer-sponsored regional visas to ensure businesses in regional Queensland can compete for access to skilled workers.
The top business priorities this federal election are:
- Overcoming critical labour and skills shortages
- Creating job opportunities
- Creating a better environment for small businesses to flourish with less red tape
- Incentivise business investment to drive productivity growth over the long term
- Maximising sustainability opportunities for economic diversification in the green economy .
As a Regional Certifying Body, CCIQ is helping businesses increase their workforce by sponsoring highly skilled foreign workers. For details see Regional Certifying Body (Subclass 187) » CCIQ.
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