Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner at Workforce BluePrint and VET Strategist at WPAA, provides her Budget 2014 review below. Workforce BluePrint will hold a post-Budget webinar to discuss the potential impact and workforce implications.
Workforce productivity and participation is a recurring theme underpinning the Federal Budget, in particular the establishment of the new $11.6 billion Infrastructure Growth Package.
Specific workforces and industries facing workforce change as a result of the budget include great expectations for the Australian Border Force, civil construction, defence, exploration, medical research, rail and road projects.
“The new White Paper and the first principles review of Defence will reduce waste, speed up decision-making and restore authority to the commanders responsible for delivering war-fighting capabilities.”
“Exploration Development Incentive to encourage investment in small exploration companies undertaking greenfields mineral exploration in Australia. Australian shareholders of these companies will receive a tax offset for the company’s greenfields exploration.”
There are also those that will undergo significant adjustment including employment services, higher education, manufacturing, public sector (reduce by 16,500 across the four years to 2016-17), and Vocational Education and Training (VET).
“$50 million Manufacturing Transition Grants Programme to help businesses transition to competitive industries and drive new and innovative opportunities for growth.”
“A $155 million growth fund will also support regions facing pressures following the announced closures of motor vehicle manufacturers.”
For entrepreneurs, self-employed people and start-ups a new approach and initiative,
“…will be implemented through the $484.2 million Entrepreneurs’ Infrastructure Programme, which will improve the capabilities of small to medium enterprises and streamline business access to Government programmes.”
Addressing environmental action an investment of “$2.55 billion over ten years to establish the Emissions Reduction Fund from 1 July 2014.”
In terms of international capability development Australian – Chinese business collaboration and export particularly building relationships with Korea and Japan
“A $200 million boost to the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation’s capital base, and a $50 million boost to the Export Market Development Grants programme will help more small and medium-sized businesses to access export markets.”
Workforce development strategies outlined in the Federal Budget 2014 include:
- “…creating a Green Army — a 15,000-strong workforce — and planting 20 million native trees to re-establish green corridors while contributing to emissions reductions.”
- Industry Skills Fund with priority industry sectors that support economic growth and investment - the Government will provide $476.0 million over four years to establish the Industry Skills Fund (ISF) from 1 January 2015 to support the training needs of small to medium enterprises which cannot be readily met by the national training system. Industries targeted will include: health and biomedical products; mining, oil and gas equipment technology and services; and advanced manufacturing, including defence and aerospace.
- The ISF is expected to deliver 121,500 training places (providing participants with qualifications, skill sets and recognition of both prior learning and current competencies) and 74,300 support services (including mentoring and foundation skills) over four years. Businesses will be required to make co-contributions towards the cost of training on a sliding scale depending on the size of the enterprise.
- Mature age workforce engagement, retention and productivity.
- Non-resource sector growth focusing on workforce transition from resources to road/civil construction.
- Paid Parental Leave (PPL) - “From 1 July 2015 the Government will introduce a genuine Paid Parental Leave scheme with an income cap of $100,000 per annum, which will include superannuation…It will support mothers to remain engaged with their employer and help address the disparity between the average retirement incomes of men and women.” Some might call the PPL a mummy worker fund – what about Mum entrepreneurs, Dad’s and family structures that differ to traditional roles?
- Regional development will see a National Stronger Regions Fund - “The $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund will help construct and improve infrastructure for communities in need, including those with high unemployment. This builds on the $342 million Community Grants Development Programme providing infrastructure for local and regional economies, and the priority rollout of the National Broadband Network to regions with the poorest internet services.”
- For Northern Australia, “A new White Paper will identify policies to ensure the region profits from its strengths while realising its growth potential.”
- And for Tasmania, “The Growth Plan for Tasmania will reset the State’s course to one of growth, jobs and rising living standards. Over $60 million will go towards a runway extension at Hobart’s international airport and to support the Antarctic Gateway Partnership in Tasmania.”
Overall the focus is on work culture and boosting productivity with the announcements as a pre cursor to the National Industry Investment and Competitiveness Agenda — to be outlined in more detail later this year.
Workforce BluePrint will hold a post-Budget webinar to discuss the potential impact and workforce implications - to book go to:
-- Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner at Workforce BluePrint and VET Strategist at WPAA.
Ph: +61 8 8387 9800 l Mobile: +61 (0)416 150 491 l Fax: +61 8 8387 9820
Leila HendersonM: 0414 69 70 71
Wendy Perry and Associates (WPAA) was established in 2002 as a Vocational and Educational and Training (VET) specialist with Workforce BluePrint (a division of the company) launched in 2006. The company provides workforce development and planning, VET and contact centre consultancy, and small business support services in addition to projects completed for Commonwealth, State/Territory and local governments.
Workforce BluePrint provides Workforce Development and Planning Services for Clusters, Community Development, Firms, Industry Development, Major Projects, Networks, Organisations, Regional, Rural and Remote Development, Small and Medium Sizes Enterprises (SME), Small Business Health Checks, Supply Chain and Value Chains.
Wendy A Perry, Head Workforce Planner
M: +61 416 150 491