THERE ARE ACTIONS WE CAN TAKE NOW TO BUILD OUR ECONOMY THROUGH STRATEGIES TO BOOST OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: INVESTING IN RESEARCH AND INNOVATION, NEW TECHNOLOGIES, SKILLS AND TRAINING, HIGH QUALITY JOBS AND VALUE-ADDED INDUSTRIES
Many of the mechanisms that will allow us to respond to this change effectively have been allowed to become dangerously atrophied. Ensuring the Australian labour market has access to quality training and skills development is critical, but cannot be seen in isolation of a number of other measures that the Australian government should be taking to best position the economy to adapt to change.
1. Firstly, government must end the piecemeal approach it has taken to preparing for change. This transition must be taken seriously and requires a whole-of-economy response. The establishment of an independent authority, as already called for by the ACTU, to identify opportunities for new industries and sectors, respond to challenges brought about by changing markets and industries and to co-ordinate the work of various government departments to deliver positive policy outcomes and support for working Australians is necessary.
2. We must urgently halt and reverse cuts to public support for research, science and innovation. Research institutions must be provided with an adequate and stable funding framework consistent with conducting long-term research and development for a mix of academic and commercial purposes.