White paper outlines roadmap to help all Australians into work
The Sector > Policy > Examples > White paper outlines ambitious roadmap to help all Australians into work

White paper outlines ambitious roadmap to help all Australians into work

by Freya Lucas

September 28, 2023
Children are playing in the kindergarten

The recent employment white paper has laid out “an ambitious roadmap to help ensure all Australians who want a job can find one,” CEDA Chief Executive Melinda Cilento has said. 


“Major structural shifts like digital transformation, the energy transition and an ageing population require a much more agile labour market than we have now,” Ms Cilento said.


“We must break down the economic and social barriers that stop people from being able to participate fully in work, from doing the job they want and are best suited to do, and from moving for work.”


CEDA has identified a number of core components in the white paper which would contribute to this goal including: 


  • Migration 
  • The care economy (including early childhood education and care (ECEC) 
  • Clean energy jobs 
  • Universal access to ECEC
  • Business dynamism 




The white paper highlights the scope to better use the skills that migrants bring to Australia. CEDA has previously found nearly a quarter of permanent skilled migrants are working in a job beneath their skill level. 


The Government, CEDA said, must further progress reforms to better use the skills of migrants, to enable the transfer of skills from migrants to local workers and better target skills shortages. 


“The Government has flagged it will consider introducing a visa pathway for workers with essential skills, such as in the care economy,” Ms Cilento said.


“An Essential Skills Visa should be a priority of the migration review response to allow care workers to directly migrate with long-term residency opportunities.”


“Australia’s growing demand for care workers cannot be met with domestic workers alone.” 


Care economy


The Government is right to identify delivering quality care more efficiently – particularly in aged care –as one of its five key pillars to boost productivity, she continued.


“We must boost innovation and adoption of new technology to use the care workforce more effectively, as well as improving care outcomes and boosting job satisfaction.” 


We must expand digital literacy training both for new trainees and existing staff and invest in research on new technologies.” 


She specifically commented on the use of technology to reduce the administrative burdens that those in the care economy face, which would then allow them to improve outcomes for those receiving care, by giving workers more time to provide one on one care. 


Universal access


CEDA supports setting Australia on a gradual path to universal access to ECEC, saying “this care must be high-quality, affordable and accessible, but this will require a significant ramp up in the number of childcare centres (sic.) and trained staff,” Ms Cilento said.


“This is unlikely to be achievable in the short-to-medium term given skills shortages across the care sector. The sector will be unable to provide adequate quality unless this is phased in slowly and with appropriate support to expand and train the workforce.”


Business dynamism


The report also raises the need to boost dynamism in the workforce.


“We have previously found Australian businesses need to get better at seizing new opportunities and transforming themselves to meet them,” Ms Cilento said. 


“We need a clear focus on how to better build and enable these skills and capabilities and must ensure that increasing regulatory burdens don’t block this kind of innovation.”


Finally, we welcome the commitment to better use of data to inform and evaluate policy. We have previously found this can help overcome entrenched disadvantages.


Access the White Paper here.  

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