Diversify your workforce to benefit your business

Thursday 13 December, 2012 | Tags: Workplace and Employment Policy;

Queensland employers can diversify their workforce in a manner that is risk-free and a benefit to their business.

This is the message that came out of CCIQ’s launch of the ACCI/CCIQ ‘Employ Outside the Box’ Business Cases, where CCIQ was joined by the Honourable John-Paul Langbroek MP, Minister for Education, Training and Employment, in encouraging employers to take on people with disabilities and mature-aged workers.

CCIQ CEO Stephen Tait with the Hon John-Paul Langbroek MPThe Employ Outside the Box campaign primarily targets businesses, and it is this fact that underpins CCIQ’s strong support for the initiative, as we believe that it is a prime example of the positive impacts that non-regulatory measures can have when it comes to achieving positive outcomes for employers, employees, and the economy.

This sentiment was clearly shared by Minister Langbroek, who commended the Business Cases as encouraging employers to look beyond short-term considerations.

“The best way to improve your economy is by education and employing, and by having a diverse economy…with a diverse range of skills,” said Minister Langbroek.

The Minister assured CCIQ that it had the government’s support in this endeavour, and that within his portfolio there was much being done to promote greater workforce participation across Queensland.

The joint show of support from CCIQ and the State Government for Queenslanders with a disability was timely, immediately preceding the Premier’s announcement yesterday of his plan to fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Queensland.

Employing outside the box is not about businesses taking on the social obligations of the government, but about demonstrating to employers how they can meet their skills and labour needs by engaging people who they may not have otherwise considered but are willing and able to do the job.

Indeed, CCIQ’s CEO, Stephen Tait, emphasised that it was good business practice for employers to diversify their workforce.

Mr Tait noted that the practical and common-sense information contained in the Business Cases was consistent with CCIQ’s core mission of helping Queensland’s small and medium businesses to succeed.

“It is critical that we are supporting SMEs in Queensland,” Mr Tait said. “In fulfilling this commitment, it is absolutely imperative that we work in a proactive manner government.

“I am delighted to say that we are working in a proactive manner with the new government on business friendly policies.”

Nick Behrens, CCIQ’s General Manager of Advocacy, also welcomed the Minister’s involvement in this important initiative, and pointed out that, “employers and government work together best not under layers of additional red-tape, quotas and reporting obligations, but through…initiatives such as (the Business Cases) that demonstrate the rewards that can come from employing ‘outside the box’.”

The fact that the number of people in Australia aged over 65 will double over the next four decades should be seen as an opportunity, according to David Norris, who works with mature-aged people to prepare them to enter or re-enter the workforce.

At the launch, Mr Norris reflected on his experiences in this field, concluding that the demographic change that is occurring represents a significant resource pool that smart employers should start tapping into.

CCIQ strongly recommends the Employ Outside the Box Business Cases to employers, and will continue to work with the State Government to provide practical and common-sense assistance to ensure that Queensland businesses have the tools to succeed.

Launch Event Video

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