The Australian workforce needs to expand and become more adaptable if the nation is to fulfil its potential and deal effectively with economic challenges, according to Assistant Minister for Employment Luke Hartsuyker.
Mr Hartsuyker was speaking at the first of a series of conferences, held by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), on the topic of an agile workforce.
"I agree with CEDA that more can be done to engage people whose skills are under-utilised if we are to maximise the true value of Australia’s human capital,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
"As a country, we simply cannot afford—financially or socially—to leave people out of the workforce.
"Our future depends on having as many people as possible participating in the workforce and making a positive contribution to our country.”
Mr Hartsuyker said the Government was implementing its policies to help Australians find and keep jobs.
From 1 July, the Government will introduce a new Job Commitment Bonus under which certain young job seekers will be eligible for payments of up to $6500 if they find a job and stay off welfare.
A Relocation Assistance to Take Up a Job programme will allow eligible job seekers to receive financial support if they move location to take up a job.
The Seniors Employment Incentive Payment provides an incentive payment of up to $3250 to businesses which employ eligible job seekers who are 50 years or over.
"These policies are focused on assisting job seekers to participate in the workforce,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
"The Government is also focused on ensuring that Job Services Australia works effectively and efficiently to deliver employment outcomes.
"The publicly funded employment service—Job Services Australia—had become mired in red tape and complexity.
"I have announced two rounds of red tape reductions that will enable providers to spend more time assisting Australians to successfully get a new job.
"These measures will save providers up to $23 million in costs each year and there will be more red tape reforms to come before new contracts are signed in 2015.”