26 September 2023

Comment invited on Workplace Skills

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The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations is calling for feedback on the Australian Skills Guarantee which is aimed at providing more paid employment opportunities for women and apprentices.

Releasing its Australian Skills Guarantee discussion paper, the Department said the Guarantee aimed to ensure that one in 10 workers on major Australian Government funded projects were an apprentice, trainee or paid cadet.

“The Guarantee will also include targets for women, include a focus on digital skills and will be applied to Australian Government funded social and affordable housing projects as part of the National Housing Accord,” the Department said.

“The Discussion Paper seeks your feedback on key design considerations including the scope of the Guarantee, the design of the targets and how it could be implemented across various industries and sectors including construction, digital and renewable energy,” it said.

“The paper also seeks feedback on the design of future initiatives to support women to achieve higher paying careers via vocational education and training pathways.”

The Department said it was particularly interested in hearing people’s experiences about what was most effective in attracting and retaining women in occupations that had historically had low female participation.

It said the Guarantees targets for women aimed to increase access to more opportunities and support employers to address skills shortages.

“Including paid cadets in the Guarantee would support work to increase the participation of women in non-trade occupations in major projects, for example engineering cadets,” it said.

The Department said options for targets of the Guarantee, open for discussion until 22 December, included a percentage of apprentices, trainees and paid cadets being women; a percentage of the trades workforce of major projects; or a percentage of the whole workforce for a project.

It said each of the options had benefits and disadvantages and a combination may be appropriate.

The Department’s 32-page Discussion Paper can be downloaded at this PS News link.

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