It was a privilege to participate in the Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit (the Summit) on 1–2 September 2022. KPMG Australia (KPMG) appreciates the opportunity to contribute to the subsequent work on the Employment White Paper.
The Summit provided an excellent forum to bring together employers, unions, civil society and governments to address shared economic and workforce challenges. KPMG was pleased to see that gender equality for women was such a strong theme throughout the two-day Summit.
KPMG has prepared a series of 10 reports advocating policy measures to improve gender equity in Australia (KPMG’s gender equity series). These proposals include reform to the Child Care Subsidy, an expansion of the Commonwealth’s Paid Parental Leave (PPL) scheme with incentives for equal sharing of leave, the inclusion of Superannuation Guarantee payments in PPL, enabling businesses to make greater superannuation contributions for women and the introduction of a Carers’ Income Tax Offset (CARITO).
It was heartening to see the Government’s reforms to the Child Care Subsidy along the lines of proposals by KPMG and others, the decision in the October 2022 Budget to expand the Commonwealth PPL scheme to 26 weeks by 2026, encouraging more equal sharing of caring duties and the inclusion of targets for women in the Australian Skills Guarantee. These initiatives are welcome in shifting the dial on traditional social norms that can hold women back from fully participating in the workforce and contributing to Australia’s economic development.
KPMG’s submission includes further proposals for enabling women to participate more fully in the Australian workforce, alongside considerations of future industries’ role in the energy transition and how migration settings can further facilitate a vibrant and flexible workforce.
Another strong theme throughout the Jobs and Skills Summit was the role of immigration in bolstering the skills in the Australian workforce. Distinctions were drawn at the Summit between skilled and unskilled migration and between permanent and temporary migration. KPMG welcomes the Government’s announcement at the Summit of an increase in the permanent migration cap to 195,000 for the 2022-23 financial year.
This KPMG submission explores policy options for the migration program. A Migration System for Australia’s Future (PDF 1.73MB) provides a more detailed submission to the review of the migration program.
Thank you again for the opportunity to attend the Jobs and Skills Summit and to provide KPMG’s input into this Employment White Paper. We look forward to working with the Government on these important issues. Should you wish to discuss this submission further, or any related issues, please do not hesitate to contact us.