Retail Voice CEO Message: 13 July 2022

The Federal Government has announced its much anticipated Jobs and Skills Summit, which will bring together senior Ministers, employers, industry groups and unions in September to address Australia’s economic challenges.

There are nearly half a million job vacancies across the country, including over 40,000 in retail trade alone, which is an increase of nearly 40% in just three months.

There are some practical measures we’ve advocated are discussed at the Summit, including a review of employment income as part of the age pension income test so we can enable more mature age workers and pensioners to fill some of the gaps in the workforce.
We’ve also been a strong voice around reduced red tape around immigration to streamline the process for skilled foreign workers into the country, including international students.

Women need to be another key focus – they’re significantly impacted by the limited options for childcare support and we need to see a renewed focus in this area to increase women’s workforce participation, as well as measures to address the gender pay gap, which opens up significantly when women have a baby and are looking to return to work.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has indicated some measures will be turned around quickly in time for his first budget in October. We’ll keep members up to date on developments.