Release type: Media Release


Promoting the participation agenda

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP this week got to work as the new Minister for Employment Participation.

"To be genuinely included in society, all Australians need to be able to play a full role in Australian life," Mr O’Connor said.

"A fundamental part of this is finding and keeping a job."

Mr O’Connor said he is looking forward to implementing the Rudd Government’s agenda for employment participation.

"All Australians should have the opportunity to build a rewarding social and economic life," Mr O’Connor said.

As well as being good for individuals, increased participation in the workforce benefits local communities, regions and the broader economy. Communities are more prosperous and cohesive when those whocanworkdo work.

Australia has a large pool of under-utilised workers, including the unemployed, the under-employed, young workers, parents looking to return to work and older Australians.

"This is a key economic challenge for Australia," Mr O’Connor said.

"The combination of an ageing population and a chronic skills shortage means we cannot afford to have potential workers excluded from the labour market."

"The job starts now. I will be working with industry, with employers, with workers and with job seekers to ensure that anyone who is able to work can be a full and active participant in Australia’s growing economy."