The Albanese Government has moved to ease Australia’s skills crisis with the first piece of legislation it has introduced establishing Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA).

The new independent agency will be responsible for providing advice to the Government to underpin Australia’s response to current, emerging and future labour market and workforce skills and training needs, to improve employment opportunities and economic growth.

Minister for Skills and Training, the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP, said addressing the skills crisis in Australia is a critical priority of the new government.

“As a nation we are experiencing skills and labour shortages across industries that are vital to the health and wellbeing of Australians and our economy,” Minister O’Connor said.

 This includes many aspects of Australia’s liquor and hospitality industry with farmers, suppliers, logistics and hospitality all suffering through a lack of skilled labour.

Minister O’Connor added: “After nearly a decade of inaction under the previous government, made worse by the decision to abandon migrant workers during the pandemic lockdowns, it’s vital to plan and to act to ensure that Australia has the skills it needs.”

The JSA will also examine the adequacy of the Vocational Education and Training system in delivering these skills and making sure Australians of all backgrounds have the training and skills to access job opportunities now and in future

“Establishing an interim Jobs and Skills Australia Director will enable its critical work to commence quickly, while extensive consultation on the ongoing functions and structure of JSA occurs,” O’Connor said.

“JSA will build on the work started by the National Skills Commission, but with a much broader remit to address issues in the skills and training sector, while forging closer partnerships with key stakeholders. It will also play an active role in workforce planning to look at future trends.

“The Albanese Government has wasted no time and introducing JSA will make a real difference. It is a step towards addressing the nation’s skills crisis, contributing to productivity improvements, economic growth and creating more secure and better employment opportunities for Australian workers.”

JSA will work closely with state and territory governments, as well as industry, employers, trade unions and training providers to ensure a shared understanding of the key issues facing Australia’s labour market and promote a training system that meets the needs of employees, employers and the economy.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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