Jobs and Skills Policy launched in South Australia – based on workforce demand from whom?

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Premier Jay Weatherill has launched a Jobs and Skills Policy to address issues in the state economy and a rise in unemployment with a number of existing components re-packaged and a couple of new areas.

There are 7 programs as part of the plan for Building a Stronger South Australia:

  1. Local Government Stimulus program – to bring forward ‘shovel ready’ projects into the next six to 12 months. The initiative will be available to all Local Government Areas.  NEW
  2. More job opportunities in local communities – Skills for All in Regions with a stronger emphasis on employment outcomes, will be renamed to Skills for Jobs in Regions.  EXISTING – EXPANSION (14 000+ people supported by #1 and 2)
  3. Support for jobless families in Northern Adelaide – Building Family Opportunities to be extended.  EXISTING – EXTENSION (350 families)
  4. Skills for Jobs Training Entitlement – A Training Entitlement to help unemployed people find work giving up to 20,000 South Australian job seekers training to improve their chances of finding work.  EXISTING – NEW FOCUS ON JOBS! (reprioritisation of existing funds of $77 million over 3 years for this target group)
  5. Retrenched Workers program – Support for workers to retrain for jobs of the future – support to gain new skills as traditional jobs disappear and new jobs emerge.  EXISTING – EXPANSION (up to 8000 workers)
  6. Government procurement policy – application of the 15% policy EXISTING to other areas of Government procurement NEW
  7. Skills in the Workplace – work with industry to boost productivity through the Skills in the Workplace program EXISTING NB. Manufacturing has always been a priority sector.

The shift in language of Skills for All to Skills for Jobs is simple but also obvious however does it go far enough?  Jay’s quote at the end of the press release focuses on “workers” which is important but where is the balance to the focus on workforce demand from business and industry?

Building a Stronger South Australia outlines two key opportunities and initiatives release to date:

  1. Future Fund (contributions from 2015-16) – from mining and resources royalty funds and this will be used for infrastructure and initiatives (jobs, skills, education, early childhood development)
  2. Jobs and Skills

I think there will be additional policies and funding initiatives announced over the next month or so – keep an eye out and watch this blog.

See the latest blog post on WPAA for an outline of Skills for All to Skills for Jobs.

Written by Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint, 2 October 2013.

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