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Federal Budget investments could be transformative for industry

Decarbonisation, diversification and digitalisation are the ‘Three Ds’ the Federal Budget should invest in according to Ai Group.

The national employer association recently released a submission to the Federal Budget outlining the need for government to invest for the long-term as industry navigates the challenges of uncertainty, inflation and a slowing economy.

“Australian industry enters 2024 feeling anxious and pessimistic about the immediate future,” said Ai Group CEO, Innes Willox.

“While the Australian economy continues to slow, global uncertainty is growing and inflation and labour shortage pressures appear to be persisting longer than expected.

“Yet Australian industry also has to keep an eye on longer-term transformational challenges: the ‘Three Ds’ of decarbonisation, diversification and digitalisation.

“These transformations have a long-term time horizon measured in decades, not years. But they cannot be ignored, as getting them right will be key to Australia’s future wealth and prosperity.”

Ai Group said an effective and successful 2024-25 Federal budget will help industry manage this tension between short-term challenges and long-term investment needs. It should focus on:

Decarbonising industry by promoting investment, reforming regulatory barriers and supporting skills for energy transition opportunities;
diversifying industry through innovation programs, trade promotions efforts and a commitment to skilled migration;
digitalising industry through automation, AI, data stewardship and cybersecurity investments.

“Overarching these proposals is the pressing need for reform of Australia’s taxation system,” said Willox.

“This should deliver tax simplification, minimise ‘bracket creep’ and other unplanned fiscal changes, unlock opportunities for productivity-enhancing changes, and support the aspirations of people wanting to work harder and earn more.

“Underpinning our capacity to meet our challenges in the short and long term is the need for a clear-eyed focus on developing a workforce with the skills to thrive in a decarbonised, digitalised and more diverse future.”

Ai Group’s submission is reported to highlight key areas in which deep work is still needed in order to embed a tertiary education and training sector that allows Australia to achieve its human capital potential. Recommendations include:

A tertiary education body, including VET, with appropriate industry representation that provides national governance, analysis, expert advice and a funding model that considers the impacts on VET and drives parity of esteem between the sectors.
The setting of new longterm targets that address overall participation and attainment in higher education into the future, in concert with VET target setting, to meet projected workforce needs.
Examine the level of funding for the tertiary education system to ensure it enables quality outcomes across VET and higher education and is equitable across the sectors.
Progress reform of the Australian Qualifications Framework.
Provide Government support for all apprenticeships and traineeships of no less than 30% in wage subsidy across two years.
Reinstate the fixed monetary completion incentives of $2500 to employers.
Extend the support currently available to apprentices in priority occupations of up to $5000, to assist in the completion of their training to all endorsed apprentices and traineeships without exception.
Develop a national framework for skills transferability.
Introduce a lifelong learning funding model that includes a framework of learning entitlements and incomecontingent loans.

“The budget should provide the framework industry needs to continue to invest and innovate for long-term transformations, even while business conditions are difficult in the short-term,” said Willox.

In other news, international practice has influenced a change in the way risk is assessed for the transportation of Dangerous Goods in specific scenarios.

The post Federal Budget investments could be transformative for industry appeared first on Trailer Magazine.

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