The ACTU welcomes the Albanese Government’s announcement of the Jobs and Skills Summit on the 1st and 2nd of September. This summit is an opportunity to find solutions to the systemic problems that have been holding Australian workers and the Australian economy back for years.

This is an opportunity to fix an underfunded and neglected skills sector, ensure that migration is providing opportunities rather than exploitation and address a broken bargaining system which has failed to deliver wage growth for almost a decade and has inflicted real wage cuts on workers during a cost of living crisis.

It is also an opportunity for the Government and employers to join with the union movement to create a workforce which is more equitable and safer for women, and to ensure a fair playing field across the economy. 

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“The union movement wants our country to be one where working people have quality jobs, not fragmented, unreliable low paid jobs where wages do not rise and workers never get ahead.

“We must find a way forward on systemic issues that are holding the country back. After years of neglect, we can fix our skills training system, and find solutions to our broken bargaining system and decade of flat wage growth.

“We have a chance to build a stronger, more inclusive workforce which will generate the economic growth that we need to recover from the pandemic and share the success of our economy more evenly. Workers share of GDP is the lowest it has ever been, this fundamental issue must be addressed.

“Our immigration system should provide opportunities for workers who want to build a better life for themselves and their families in this country, not facilitate systemic wage theft and exploitation.

“We must rebuild our manufacturing industry and work together to build the skills we need for the jobs of the future.”