House debates

Wednesday, 10 June 2020

Questions without Notice

Employment

2:36 pm

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for his question. I acknowledge his great advocacy for his community in Forde, particularly the work that he does on behalf of the businesses in his electorate. I know that there are many innovative businesses in the member for Forde's electorate that are investing in new technology and are upskilling. Businesses like Merino Country and ATP Science recently received funding under our Manufacturing Modernisation Fund. These projects in Forde are going to create local jobs. The good news is that there are about 200 similar projects right across the nation that are expected to create about 2,600 new jobs and that includes Croydon Industries at Marrickville in the opposition leader's electorate. They manufacture exhaust ducting, and the funding that they have received will go towards improving production processes so they can increase their business turnover, create more work for their existing employees and hire some additional workers.

We are all very much aware that for businesses to grow they need skilled workers and they need highly skilled workers. In recent weeks, in fact over the last few months in particular, I have met with many businesses, including many manufacturers. Skills are always raised as a specific issue for them. That's why we have focused on skills at the heart of our government's JobMaker plans. It builds on our immediate support through JobKeeper, which has kept many hundreds of people and businesses afloat during this particularly difficult time.

As we bring together Australians and come through this crisis together, we have a unique opportunity to truly reform the skills sector. We are in the process of working through some changes that need to be made and I'll quickly go through some of those changes. We are going to be linking funding to future skills needs so that businesses are getting the skilled workers that they need. We will be simplifying the system and we will be giving greater consistency. We will be increasing transparency and performance monitoring. We want to make sure that taxpayers, students and employers know exactly where their money is going. There will be better coordination of funding so valuable support is actually going where it needs to go. As we face the coronavirus pandemic and bring Australia out the other side, we are more determined than ever to deliver the skilled workforce our industries need.

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