Solutions to the national shortage of skilled labour and building back Australia’s industrial base will be high on the agenda for the Assistant Manufacturing Minister Tim Ayres who will chair a special Jobs and Skills Roundtable for Australian Heavy Industry today.

Ahead of the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit, Assistant Minister Ayres said today’s roundtable is an important step for how the Government and industry can develop plans that deliver good jobs and the right skills for the jobs of the future in Australian industry.

“The Government has clear plans, through the National Reconstruction Fund, to rebuild Australia’s sovereign capabilities by investing in areas of national interest such as rail, construction and defence,” Assistant Minister Ayres said.

“Workers and skills are at the heart of this, and today’s discussions bring together some of our country’s largest employers in these critical sectors.

“I am looking forward to discussing challenges, opportunities and what strategies are needed to train, and create good jobs for, women and men in Australian manufacturing and to plan for the jobs of the future.


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“The task before us is massive but one that we have to tackle. A big part of driving productivity and economic gains is creating secure, well-paid jobs.

“For existing heavy industry- big users of gas and electricity- the issues of energy price and supply are front of mind today, but the focus of the Jobs and Skills Summit is on making sure Australians have the right skills for the jobs of the future, and that industry is creating good, secure and well-paid jobs and lifting national productivity.

“Our industrial future depends on national cooperation, on energy efficiency and sustainability, on reducing energy costs and emissions, but critically on lifting productivity- getting the skills mix right and lifting wages.

“Today’s discussions will be all about those last objectives, and I want to make sure that Australia’s heavy industry has a strong voice at the Jobs and Skills Summit next week.”

The Jobs and Skills Summit at Parliament House on 1 and 2 September will bring together unions, employers, civil society and governments, to address shared economic challenges, including skills shortages.