Peak body hails Labor move to close skills gap

Heavy Vehicle Industry Australia (HVIA) has welcomed Labor’s decision to set up Jobs and Skills Australia, a new body to advise government on how to train the workforce and address skills shortages plaguing the industry. ‘economy.

HVIA’s 2022 Federal Election Manifesto, themed A strong heavy-duty vehicle industry – vital for a resilient Australiahas defined its priorities in four key areas: safety, manufacturing and productivity, sustainability, and skills and jobs.

The tech transport body also called for streamlined processes to bring in skilled migrants to address critical skills shortages in the heavy-duty industry.

HVIA general manager Todd Hacking said that with the heavy-duty vehicle pipeline stretching to nearly two years in many cases, the lack of skilled labor is weighing on productivity.

“While the well-documented supply chain disruptions aren’t helping, the biggest hurdle is the shortage of skilled labor,” Hacking said.

“The skilled migration system was designed when the unemployment rate was double what it is today and with an unemployment rate of 3.5% – anyone who wants a job gets a job.”

HVIA pushes for 5 practical reforms. These are:

1. Guaranteeing short-term skilled migration (Visa 482) should include a pathway to permanent residency.

2. Changing the Skilling Australia Fund payment to installments once the sponsored employee is at work, reducing the huge upfront cost barrier

3. A current and temporary change in the rigidity of the labor market test;

4. Decouple family members from the skilled migration cap; and

5. Greater flexibility in the locality of the sponsored worker, allowing the worker to be placed where the job is and not tied to a specific geography.

“Currently, if the employer has used the 482 visa and wants the relationship to continue, and the sponsored worker wants to move to Australia, there is no discretion for that to happen,” he said. -he declares.

By moving the Skilling Australia Fund payment (usually the most expensive fee in the visa process) to the back of the process, not the front, you significantly reduce the initial cost.

“This is a simple and practical measure that doesn’t change the amount of money going to states but would really help lower the cost barrier,” Hacking added.

Reducing the rigidity of the labor market test, even temporarily, will save three to six months.

The hack said visas often lock a person into a specific location, which prevents employers from using the employee based on changing demand.

“The government must also provide additional resources for the processing of applications and must decouple families, who are currently counted in the cap quotas.

“The government is making great strides in restoring Australia’s place on the international stage, and this is a great opportunity to let people know that we are back to normal and open for business.”

In a statement to HVIA members, Hacking said much more needs to be done to educate more elected officials about the scale of Australia’s vital heavy vehicle manufacturing industry.

“While the past few years have done much to raise awareness of our industry’s vital role, much more needs to be done to ensure that our interests receive proper attention and support – and less bureaucracy.”

Jobs and Skills Australia has a broader mandate than the National Skills Commission it replaces, with an added focus on working with state and territory governments, trade unions and training providers.

The Albanian government is also hosting a Jobs and Skills Summit in Parliament in Canberra on September 1-2.

Labor said the themes and outcomes of the summit will inform the Jobs White Paper, which will help shape the future of Australia’s labor market. It will be led by the Treasury, which will invite submissions and engage the wider community over the next 12 months.

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