From the CEO’s Desk
RCCIWA Forum – the critical state-wide issues
Our members Forum just over a week ago was an opportunity to voice concerns or issues to Members of Parliament and throughout the two days, there were three issues that were common and serious to all regional business communities. RCCIWA is currently developing an issues paper of these three critical areas included some suggested ways forward that may provide relief. We will focus on working with our members and all relevant stakeholders to raise awareness of how acute these issues are and also hopefully be a constructive part of identifying and delivering solutions. The three common issues are:
- Housing and accommodation shortage – we need short, medium and long term solutions
- Labour shortage – across all industries and all skills levels
- Access to Childcare – we have people unable to work because they cannot access childcare
RCCIWA invited to take part in the WA Skills Summit
We will be attending the WA Skills Summit by invitation, on June 30th. This important event will give us the opportunity to ensure your current work shortage issues and possible solutions are heard and contributed to the state wide conversation. We have been gathering information on this issue directly from our members individually and also from the Forum discussions and will be using this to form our contribution. We received the agenda and pre briefing pack yesterday (please email Emmi at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like a copy). Below are the two questions that will be workshopped at the Summit. I would love you to email me at email@example.com your comments on these 2 specific questions so I can ensure our view is fully informed.
- What practical solutions could be taken from industry and government to address Western Australia’s skills need over the coming months?
- What actions could be taken now to avoid future skills shortages?
Premier Mark McGowan and Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery in May announced a Western Australia 2021 Skills Summit for June 30, to meet with leaders across a number of sectors including the resources, defence, construction and healthcare industries. The aim of the summit is to hear from some of WA’s business leaders on what more can be done collaboratively, and more immediately, to address existing skills needs across sectors to ensure the WA workforce can continue to advance the State and keep WA globally competitive in the coming years.
Submissions Invited on Australia’s Mobility Programs
Ministers Payne, Littleproud, Robert, Seselja and Hawke recently announced a period of consultation on the future arrangements for Australia’s Pacific labour mobility initiatives, the Seasonal Worker Programme (SWP) and the Pacific Labour Scheme (PLS). You can read the full announcement here. Submissions are being invited until 18 July 2021 and interested stakeholders can provide their views via the consultation website.
The Seasonal Worker Programme and Pacific Labour Scheme are highly valued by Australia and the Pacific, supporting Australian businesses in rural and regional areas to address unmet labour demand while providing employment opportunities for Pacific and Timorese workers. The programs are an important component of Australia’s stepped up engagement with the Pacific.
Recent events including the COVID-19 pandemic, have brought into sharp focus workforce shortages in critical sectors and raised the profile of Pacific labour. As we look to life beyond the pandemic, with an altered labour market and growing demand in some sectors, now is the time to consider how to improve the two programs. The consultation aims to gather views on ways to improve, streamline and align the two programs to maximise the benefits for employers, workers and participating countries—while maintaining the breadth, quality and integrity of the programs, and strong worker welfare protections.
Priority Migration List Expanded
The announcement on Wednesday of this week of changes by the Minister to increase the Priority Migration Skilled Occupations List (PMSOL) from 19 to 41 occupations as priority roles may be of interest to many RCCIWA members – this was just updated on the Home Affairs website: Priority Migration Skilled Occupation List (homeaffairs.gov.au) and Supporting Australia's COVID recovery through Skilled Migration (homeaffairs.gov.au). We know many of our members were calling for this expansion.
$500 Small Business Electricity Grants – Applications now open
Please let your affected members know that the application process for the $500 electricity credit for small business and charities supplied with power by a provider other than Synergy or Horizon Power has opened. This was to support small businesses following the February lock down. Applications opened on 14 June 2021 and will close on 30 September 2021.
Further information can be found here.