The Australian Government will share its experience in delivering economic resilience, job creation and labour force flexibility at the Group of 20 labour and employment ministers’ meeting in Russia this week.
Minister for Employment Brendan O’Connor departed Australia on Tuesday night bound for Moscow where, over the next two days, he will meet and address employment ministers from 19 countries and the European Union.
The meeting coincides with the release of the OECD Employment Outlook 2013, which showed Australia’s system of protecting employees from dismissal is among the most flexible across the OECD, promoting job creation and productivity growth.
It also highlighted the effectiveness of Australia’s labour activation policies.
Mr O’Connor said the release of the OECD outlook confirmed Australia’s strong track record of job creation and labour activation.
“The G20 meeting in Moscow will focus on what the world’s leading economies are doing about creating new jobs and invigorating people seeking employment,” he said.
“Australia is playing a strong hand in all these spaces.
“Since the Labor government came to office in November 2007 – we have created almost one million jobs, and our average unemployment rate is just 5.1 per cent - one of the lowest in the developed world.
“We’ve achieved this success while improving fairness in the workplace through the Fair Work workplace relations system. Through the Fair Work system, we restored unfair dismissal protections to over 2.8 million Australian workers.
“Through education and training, we are preparing people out-of-work, and those suffering entrenched disadvantage, to return to the labour force.
“We’re implementing plans for industry-led training, apprentices, and VET reform and rewarding participation with more training and better incentives for those who face significant barriers to employment.”
Mr O’Connor said Australia had responded to rugged global circumstances with strength, stability and resilience.
“In the wake of the Global Financial Crisis, Australia was virtually the only advanced economy to avoid recession – a direct result of our government’s decisions to support our economy and jobs in turbulent global times,” he said.
“This G20 meeting is a great opportunity to share our successes and exchange ideas with the world’s leading economies ahead of Australia hosting the G20 summit in Brisbane next year.”
Mr O’Connor will attend bilateral meetings in Moscow on 18 and 19 July, including with ministers from Germany and Singapore, the European Union, and the heads of the International Labour Organisation and OECD.
He will also join Treasurer Chris Bowen in a joint meeting between G20 Labour, Employment and Finance Ministers.