December 13, 2022

Employment White Paper – IRU Submission

Innovative Research Universities (IRU) welcomes the opportunity to make a submission to the Employment White Paper process — the critical next step to address skills and labour shortages in Australia’s workforce, and to describe a potential future state for Australia’s working people.

IRU further welcomes the Australian Parliament’s decision to explicitly include universities in the consultative groups that Jobs and Skills Australia must engage with as part of its remit to build a better-trained and more productive workforce. Being included was an issue IRU, and other institutions, included in submissions to the Jobs and Skills Australia (Provisions) and Jobs and Skills Australia (National Skills Commissioner Repeal) Bills 2022 [Provisions]. [Link]

We also note the Government’s related work on industrial relations reform in the form of the Fair Work Legislation Amendment (Secure Jobs, Better Pay) Bill 2022 that passed through both Houses on 2 December 2022.

Key points to note from this submission
  • A strategic and joined up approach to workplace transformation is key to the success of the Government’s reform agenda.
  • IRU universities already contribute positive solutions to many of the issues raised in the terms of reference for the Employment White Paper.
  • To incentivise choice and improve equity in higher education pathways to labour-force participation, the Job-Ready Graduates program needs to be reformed.
  • IRUencourages the adoption and expansion of place-based social inclusion initiatives to help address inclusion and equity.
  • Further strategic support for schemes such as innovation precincts, will help guarantee the pipeline of innovations that fuel future job growth.
  • Universities are the engine rooms of the curiosity that will deliver a balanced research system supporting the full spectrum of research and development with a focus on impact.

Read the full submission here.