Daily BulletinDaily Bulletin

The Conversation

  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Anthony Albanese has promised to open a “conversation” about new ways of protecting workers in insecure employment, and committed to a root and branch overhaul of the “broken” vocational education system.

In his speech on jobs and the future of work, delivered in Perth on Tuesday, Albanese declared today’s new employment arrangements – such as the gig economy - were straining the present industrial relations system.

With job insecurity on the rise and widespread casual employment, many people had unpredictable income and hours and few protections. They were unable to plan ahead, including financially.

“These Australians deserve a greater sense of security”, he said.

While one option was to look at the barriers to businesses offering full-time jobs, for many employers and workers non-standard arrangements suited.

“Today we have close to 1.5 million secondary jobs, some with a median income of up to $9500 depending on the industry,” he said. Some 40% of Uber drivers had a separate full-time job, or a business. For many of them Uber driving gave flexibility.

“It is time to have a conversation about new forms of worker protections, which can be made as flexible as the gig economy jobs they could cover, as well as benefit more traditional industries,” Albanese said

He floated the idea of portable entitlements - allowing a worker to carry entitlements over from one job to the next.

Read more: Self-employment and casual work aren't increasing but so many jobs are insecure – what's going on?

Labor’s shadow industrial relations minister Tony Burke would lead this “conversation” about protections.

In this first of a series of “vision statements” Albanese has sought to send the messages that Labor under his leadership is focused on jobs, is looking to the future and is not afraid of change.

The speech - which also cast a decarbonising economy as the generator of new jobs and a booming manufacturing industry - concentrated on repositioning Labor, not providing detailed policy.

Albanese emphasised the centrality of growth, and outlined a framework for tackling the problem of the mismatch in the labour market.

He pointed to a gulf between what employers needed and what workers had to offer, and described the vocational education and training system (VET) – already much overhauled by governments - as in crisis.

“We must commence a national project to repair our VET system,” he said.

Numbers working towards an apprenticeship had fallen, with 150,000 fewer apprentices and trainees today than when the Coalition government came in.

Join The Conversation in Melbourne

In government, he would seek a “circuit breaker”, with a new body along the lines of Infrastructure Australia, which he set up when a minister.

“Labor in government will establish a new national partnership to drive improved outcomes in the vocational education and training sector and to strengthen workforce planning, particularly in the growing sectors of our economy: Jobs and Skills Australia.”

This body “will be a genuine partnership across all sectors – business leaders, both large and small; state and territory governments; unions; education providers; and those who understand particular regions”.

Its functions would include

  • workforce and skills analysis

  • preparing capacity studies, including for emerging and growing industries

  • undertaking specific plans for targeted cohorts such as the regions, over-55 workers, and youth

  • reviewing the adequacy of the training and vocational system.

Its legislation would also require it to forecast workforce and skills needs for services government funded, and where demand was growing – specifically the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), aged care and health.

“This specific function will ensure that proper co-ordination occurs across all our human services investments and that the risk to service delivery or cost is reduced.”

Read more: Coal miners and urban greenies have one thing in common, and Labor must use it

Albanese said the jobs landscape a decade from now was uncertain.

“We can watch the tidal wave of change coming, then be swept away by it.

"Or we can protect our citizens by giving them a fair shot at a prosperous future,” he said.

“Government must understand the landscape and the forces that drive change. It must be proactive, not reactive.”

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/labor-looks-to-boost-protections-for-workers-in-insecure-jobs-albanese-126025

Why degree cost increases will hit women hardest

arrow_forward

Curious Kids: how did the first person evolve?

arrow_forward

New Home Checklist – First-time Moving Into a House

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Did BLM Really Change the US Police Work?

The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has proven that the power of the state rests in the hands of the people it governs. Following the death of 46-year-old black American George Floyd in a case of ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer

Scott Morrison: the right man at the right time

Australia is not at war with another nation or ideology in August 2020 but the nation is in conflict. There are serious threats from China and there are many challenges flowing from the pandemic tha...

Greg Rogers - avatar Greg Rogers

Prime Minister National Cabinet Statement

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victoria outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment an...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Reinventing The Outside Of Your Office

Efficient work is a priority in most offices. You need a comfortable interior that is functional too. The exterior also affects morale. Big companies have an amazing exterior like university ca...

News Company - avatar News Company

Kaspersky and Ferrari partnership: tailoring cybersecurity for an iconic brand

Kaspersky is commemorating the 10 year anniversary of its strategic partnership with iconic, global brand - Ferrari. The cybersecurity company is a sponsor of the brand’s Formula One racing team...

News Company - avatar News Company

Instant Steel Solutions Review

Are you keen on having the right guidance, knowledge and information about the right kind of steel purchases for your industries? If yes, then you are in the right place. There is no doubt that ...

a Guest Writer - avatar a Guest Writer



News Company Media Core

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion