Employment White Paper outlines future workforce

The Australian Government has released an employment White Paper that provides a roadmap of actions being taken, and further reform required, to support the Australian labour market into the future.


Working Future: The Australian Government’s White Paper on Jobs and Opportunities aims to build a “bigger, better-trained and more productive workforce – to boost incomes and living standards and create more opportunities for Australians to participate to their full potential”.

The document builds on last year’s Jobs and Skills Summit and was informed by consultation from more than 400 submissions from stakeholders, including the Victorian Chamber, in every state and territory.

The Victorian Chamber, together with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), welcome aspects of the Roadmap that we advocated for, such as the proposal for a national skills passport, new funding for the new TAFE Centres of Excellence, development of higher and degree apprenticeships, paid placements and raising the Age Pension Work Bonus to allow pensioners to earn more without losing benefits.

However, “these positives will be overwhelmed by the damage from its backward-looking industrial relations changes”, which has not been addressed in this Roadmap.

According to the Government, five objectives drive the White Paper:

  1. Delivering sustained and inclusive full employment
  2. Promoting job security and strong, sustainable wage growth
  3. Reigniting productivity growth
  4. Filling skills needs and building our future workforce
  5. Overcoming barriers to employment and broadening opportunity.

The roadmap offers 31 future reform areas that will guide Government policy. These include:

  • Progress scoping work on a National Skills Passport in consultation with employers, unions, the tertiary education sector and governments, to help workers demonstrate and promote their qualifications and businesses to find more skilled workers
  • Turbocharge TAFE Centres of Excellence with up to six to begin developing courses in 2024, working with the states and territories and education providers to design world-leading skills and curriculum
  • Accelerate the take up of higher apprenticeships in the priority areas of net zero, care and digitalisation
  • Permanently extend the Work Bonus measure for older pensioners and eligible veterans up to $11,800, giving them the option to earn more income from working without reducing their pension
  • Smooth the transition to work for many income support recipients by doubling the period they can receive a nil rate of payment, allowing them to retain access to social security benefits such as concession cards for longer when they first get back into work
  • Address labour market data gaps to support policy development and program delivery
  • Back social enterprises to address persistent labour market disadvantage, focusing on the role they could play in employment services and in creating jobs and career pathways
  • Reform the Local Jobs Program to improve its flexibility and provide practical initiatives and action to better help jobseekers
  • Collaborate with the Coalition of Peaks and First Nations stakeholders to scope an economic partnership
  • Explore options to develop a paid placements scheme to provide financial support for students undertaking study in care and teaching related qualifications.

“The White Paper talks up workplace flexibility, but the government’s workplace relations changes will do the opposite,” ACCI chief executive officer Andrew McKellar said.

“The government’s industrial relations proposals are designed to kill off flexible work that suits both employer and employee, including casual employment, labour hire and independent contracting.”

The full document can be accessed via Working Future: The Australian Government’s White Paper on Jobs and Opportunities.

Memberships for wherever you are in business

Hard times. Good times. Crunch time. Growth time. We’re here to support you at all those pivotal times in your business life. We’ve now tailored our range of memberships to fit wherever you are in business – today and well into the future.

Memberships for wherever you are in business

Restricted Page

You are being redirected to our login page!