Australia’s post-COVID economy recovery is under threat from a labor shortage, due to a shortage of job seekers able to fill key positions in industries like retail, travel, and hospitality, says former Minister for Vocational and Technical Education, The Hon Gary Hardgrave.
Mr. Hardgrave has been engaged by employment services provider, Asuria, to unite Australia’s industry associations behind a plan to deliver a range of employment and skills programs on behalf of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.
These skills programs include the bespoke Government Employability Skills Training (EST)programs, which will – for the first time – see job seekers gain industry-specific skills in jobs crucial to supporting the nation’s post-COVID economic recovery.
Industries in union against skills and labor shortage
Among the 25 industry associations to have signed agreements with Asuria are; the National Retail Association, Master Grocers Australia, the Queensland Hotels Association, the Australian Meat Industry Council and Master Plumbers Association NSW.
More than 25 other industry associations are currently also in conversation with Asuria regarding their involvement in the initiative.
Asuria is already working in partnership with many of these industry associations, and their members to co-create training programs specific to each industry, providing job seekers with essential skills and support necessary to thousands of current and future job vacancies.
A problem reincarnated
Commissioned by Asuria to unite Australia’s leading industry associations behind the skills and training initiative, The Hon Gary Hardgrave made the following remarks.
“The problems we’re see coming down the track are similar to those witnessed in Government in the early 90s when I was Minister for Vocational and Technical Education.”
“To avert a crisis-in-waiting, collectively we need to invest more heavily in workforce planning. That means employers being vocal about the support they need.”
“Australia’s labor force being encouraged to seek out training and employment opportunities, and expert facilitators empowered to apply themselves to the problem.”
Dominique Lamb, CEO of the National Retail Association, made the following remarks.
“Retailers have faced big challenges during the pandemic. But just when it looks as though lockdowns are gone, many will be unable to staff-up so as to maximize their operations.”
“All industries affected by labor shortages must come together to provide practical solutions to a looming crisis. The NRA is very enthusiastic to be part of this crucial initiative.”
Asuria joins the fight
Con Kittos, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Asuria, made the following remarks.
“As we look forward to the international border reopening, it’s perilous to assume that immigration will be a panacea for Australia’s economic recovery, as we remain several years away from a return to pre-pandemic levels of overseas arrivals.”
“Over-reliance on foreign workers doesn’t do justice to the ambitions of Australians here and now, who have never had a better opportunity to get back into work or change careers.”
“That’s why it’s important we do everything we can to make the pathways to jobs that sit at the heart of Australia’s economic recovery, as enticing as possible for domestic job seekers.”
Asuria has been delivering employment services for job seekers, employers and governments both internationally and domestically for the last 25 years.
Asuria is a high-performing provider of Disability Employment Services, Jobactive, Self-Employment New Business Assistance, ParentsNext, Time to Work employment services, Transition to Work, New Enterprise Incentive Scheme and more.