FARMERS for Climate Action has welcomed news the NSW Government will invest $44.8 million into five new pumped hydro projects across NSW.
Farmers for Climate Action CEO Fiona Davis said the race was on to create regional jobs by building clean energy and storage to replace ageing coal power stations being closed by their owners.
“The NSW Government says these five pumped hydro projects will create 2300 jobs and add a whopping 1.7 gigawatts of vital long duration storage,” Dr Davis said.
“FCA welcomes investment in projects which create regional jobs while reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Lithgow, Muswellbrook, Yetholme, Wollomombi, and Bowral look to be big jobs winners from this investment.
“We look forward to more announcements of this kind in other states and territories, and more regional jobs created by investment in clean energy.”
THE jobs and skills shortage could take a decade to fully resolve, according to Australia’s leading professional accounting organisation, CPA Australia. But this week’s Jobs and Skills Summit has delivered quick wins which could deliver rapid relief for businesses crippled by employee shortages.
“The jobs and skills shortage was decades in the making and will take years to unwind,” said CPA Australia CEO Andrew Hunter. “But the government now has momentum on its side and we are excited to see action on short-term wins.
“Our message to the government is don’t let this momentum go to waste. Continue to deliver meaningful relief to businesses where possible and get to work on the longer-term challenge of future-proofing Australia’s workforce.
“We want to see more concrete initiatives included in the October Budget. Longer term, the White Paper will help us map our way out of this crisis.
“We can’t navigate out of this problem overnight. But we shouldn’t keep the handbrake on while we plan the second half of the journey. The Summit took us closer to a solution; now is the time for action.”
CPA Australia is rating the Summit as a success, after participating in multiple roundtable meetings and consultations with government ahead of the two-day forum. Several of the organisation’s key asks have been implemented, including a focus on improving visa processing timelines and lifting the permanent migration cap.
“We have been very encouraged by the shift towards consensus building and collaboration," Mr Hyunter said. "The Summit focused some of Australia’s leading experts on a topic of great economic importance.”
Now that the Summit is done, CPA Australia is pleased steps towards increasing migration have been taken but says increasing the skilled migration cap alone isn’t sufficient to solve the challenges.
“Australia is in a war for talent against many other countries who are also experiencing a skills shortage. We need to ensure we are as attractive as possible to new migrants.
“We are also asking for a focus on skilling up Australians into the future, including a rethink of how we attract young people to professions struggling with shortages.
“We look forward to continuing to work with and advise the government on solutions to the skills crisis.”
About CPA Australia
CPA Australia is Australia’s leading professional accounting body and one of the largest in the world with more than 170,000 members in over 100 countries and regions. Core services include education, training, technical support and advocacy. CPA Australia provides thought leadership on local, national and international issues affecting the accounting profession and public interest. CPA Australia engages with governments, regulators and industries to advocate policies that stimulate sustainable economic growth and have positive business and public outcomes. cpaaustralia.com.au
OPPOSITION SENATORS Simon Birmingham and James Paterson have released a statment on the alleged state-backed cyber attack reportedly identified by Australian cyber security services as having originated from China.
"The Coalition is deeply concerned about media reports claiming that Chinese state-backed cyber criminals have sought to target sensitive Australian government agencies and media companies.
"These actions, if corroborated by our security agencies, represent a significant threat to our institutions and our democracy.
"We urge the government to use every available resource to investigate this serious alleged cyber incident.
"We call on the government to provide clear advice to Australian individuals and businesses about how they can protect themselves against this kind of malicious cyber activity, that has the potential to cause serious harm to our national security.
"In government, the Coalition provided record funding to and equipped our security agencies with a suite of legislative tools to respond to incidents such as this. All options should be on the table for consideration, including using the specially designed 'cyber sanctions' that are contained within Australia's Magnitsky Autonomous Sanctions Regime to send a clear message that these kinds of actions are not acceptable.
"We will continue to seek regular briefings from government agencies, including the Australian Signals Directorate and Departments of Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs."
THE National Tertiary Education Union will be a key member of a new working group to advise the Federal Labor Government on higher education policy.
The advisory body, announced as part of the Jobs and Skills Summit on Friday, will help inform Education Minister Jason Clare's decisions about issues in the higher education sector including visa arrangements for international students.
NTEU national president Dr Alison Barnes welcomed the opportunity to help form government policy.
"Giving the Union a seat at the table will lead to better outcomes for Australia's higher education sector," she said.
"Our members are experts in what needs to be done in the sector and they'll inform our input in this new working group."
The working group will also include the Council of International Education, the Departments of Home Affairs and Education, and Universities Australia.
The Federal Government is proposing to increase the duration of post-study work rights for recent university graduates in select degrees in areas of verified skill shortages by two years in order to help grow our skilled labour capacity in Australia.
"We will work to ensure any change to post-study work rights has appropriate safeguards to protect international students and are in genuine areas of skills shortages," Dr Barnes said.
"The government has made it clear this is about strengthening the pipeline of skilled labour in Australia. We're willing to help with that work including through guaranteeing there are no unintended consequences.
"We want to ensure that international graduates are working in the areas of their expertise and are not subjected to exploitative practices, so we're eager to shape this plan.
"This group will also give government advice on other critical issues to our sector."
The working group is due to report to Minister Clare by October 28.
ONE OF THE MAIN FOCUSES of the Job and Skills Summit this week will be how Australian workers can get wage increases while companies find and keep talented employees.
Data from an RMIT Online survey released today reveals inflation is pressuring workers to ask for pay raises and that the talent war hasn't been enough to make them satisfied with their current paychecks.
The vast majority of those interviewed (85%) say they are much more worried about the cost of living and financial compensation today than a year ago. Almost half of the respondents (47%) complained privately to peers and friends about lower pay.
Over a third of the respondents have changed jobs in the past 12 months, primarily led by higher salaries and career advancement. Of those, almost one-third (28%) moved jobs for a raise of $5,000 or less, and 61% moved for less than $10,000.
Of the other two-thirds who stayed in their companies in the past year, 75% would change for an increased wage, with most (52%) saying that it would take $10,000 or less to convince them to make a move.
Not feeling valued is the primary reason (57%) why employees are dissatisfied with their jobs, closely followed by not having an adequate salary for their role (51%).
"Our survey shows Australians are really feeling the impact of the rising cost of living and inflation. However, while a higher salary may sway some employees in the short term; if an employee is unhappy or unsupported in their role, better remuneration alone will not be sufficient to facilitate long-term retention,” RMIT Online Interim CEO Claire Hopkins said. .
“Future career opportunities were the second highest driver for Australians looking for a new role. The current labour market demands employers weigh up their entire employee value proposition. This includes personal development and upskilling to help team members feel recognised, challenged and excited for their own career development.”
Graphs and data
The survey was produced by the RMIT Online team in partnership with the market research company IPSOS. In total, the research team interviewed 800 Australian workers between August 8 and 15, 2022. The positions were classified as managers (executive or business owner, CEO, director and manager) and non-managers (employees and interns).
About RMIT Online
RMIT Online was created by RMIT University to provide a world-class digital learning experience at the nexus of business, design and technology, leaning into future of work needs to equip students with in-demand skills and qualifications. RMIT Online teams up with industry thought leaders and experts to deliver the best in flexible education using the latest digital tools and technologies for a highly interactive, virtual cohort experience. RMIT Online is dedicated to achieving its mission of future-ready careers and creating a “community of lifelong learners, successfully navigating the world of work".