Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s newly announced JobMaker solution addresses just one aspect of a much broader problem.
Weld Australia calls on the Prime Minister to not only invest in our exceptionally under-funded and outdated VET system, but to: inject capital into Australia’s advanced manufacturing industry so that all these highly skilled young people actually have jobs to go to; and encourage more young people into the VET system through an innovative, energetic STEM program in primary and secondary schools.
Weld Australia CEO Geoff Crittenden said, “If this was an exam, I’d give Prime Minister Scott Morrison a score of three out of 10 for his JobMaker answer. He does deserve some credit for effort, and for his much-needed backing of Australia’s VET system. But, I’d urge the Prime Minister to go back and read the question properly. If you don’t understand the problem, you can’t provide the right answer. At this point in time, he’s only provided an answer to part two of the question: he’s completely missed parts one and three.”
“Training does not create jobs—it creates highly skilled people—regardless of how much funding the government sinks into the VET sector.”
“To create jobs, we must have strong, advanced industry in which the Government is prepared to invest. For instance, at the moment, just 2% of Australia’s $3 trillion under management in Superannuation Funds is invested in the Australian manufacturing industry. Surely, there is an investment model that would better benefit the economy, creating more jobs in the process?”
“Industry must have a strong pipeline of work to take on new employees. A strong pipeline of work can only be secured if state and federal governments increase local content in all procurement decisions, and the big corporates, like BHP, award local contracts to local companies. Local companies will then be in a position in invest in their own businesses, creating new and better jobs.”
“Equally, there is no point in investing in the VET sector if young people aren’t interested in going to TAFE. We need a vibrant STEM program implemented across schools nationally so that children and parents alike understand the opportunities available—the future of employment in industries like welding is not hard, dirty work carried out in a dark workshop, it’s focused on IT and programming skills, using robots and co-bots, and implementing Industry 4.0 concepts,” said Crittenden.