Election 2013 — this week’s promises

Analysis

Election 2013 — this week’s promises

This week saw Labor making a number of promises, with not many forthcoming from the Coalition. Each Friday until the Election, WorkplaceInfo will bring you the employment-related campaign promises and other announcements of interest made during the week.

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This week saw Labor making a number of promises, with not many forthcoming from the Coalition. Each Friday until the Election, WorkplaceInfo will bring you the employment-related campaign promises and other announcements of interest made during the week.
 
Labor
 
The Labor Party’s big announcements this week included: 
Monday
 
1. Manufacturing Skills Plus: an extra 35.6 million to train 6800 new and existing workers in the manufacturing sector. The training places are to be delivered through the National Workforce Development Fund.
How likely is it? The government says funding for the program is included in the Budget, so if re-elected then a large number of these places would be likely to be created.
2. Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP): $5 million to help prepare more migrants for job opportunities by helping them develop greater confidence and experience in an Australian workplace setting while they are developing better English language skills.

Tuesday
 
Skilling for Better Services: $30 million promised over two years in training and skills improvement for 5800 extra services workers, such as early childhood educators, nurses, allied health professionals, disability support carers and case managers. This is in response to the expected dramatic expansion of employment needs in the community services sector. Training places will be delivered through the National Workforce Development Fund.
How likely is it? The government says funding for the program is included in the Budget, so if re-elected then a large number of these places would be likely to be created. 
Wednesday
 
$209.8 million for 137 Trades Training Centres, to address skill shortages in traditional trades and emerging industries.

The Coalition has pointed out that in 2007 Labor promised that every high school in Australia would be provided with a Trade Training Centre, but to date just 10 per cent of these have been delivered.
 
The government announced the next instalment — Round Five Phase One — of a 10-year Trade Training Centres in Schools program. There are 225 schools, with 122 servicing regional and remote communities. 
 
Labor also says that a further $200 million is budgeted for Round Five Phase Two of the Trade Training Centres in Schools Program.
 
The breakdown of the funding is:
      • NSW: $64.7 million
      • Vic: $45.2 million
      • Qld: $43 million
      • WA: $22 million
      • SA: $11.8 million
      • ACT: $9.4 million
      • Tas: $2.5 million
Thursday
 
Northern Australia Special Economic Zone: Labor says it will set up a Special Economic Zone and tax breaks for the Northern Territory to encourage economic development in the Northern Territory and for companies to relocate there.
How likely is it? The proposal lacks detail and Labor admits it is uncosted. There are doubts about the legality of setting up different tax structures for regional areas, so this proposal should probably join the Coalition’s earlier announcement for a somewhat similar scheme for northern Australia: wait for more details.
Coalition
 
The Coalition announced: 
Tuesday
 
Paid parental leave: still no word from the Coalition as to when the fully-costed paid parental leave policy will be released. Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, told a media conference that ‘it will be released soon’. 
 
The Australian Financial Review reported on Tuesday (13 August) that the Coalition will cut women who work for federal, state and local government who are already eligible for taxpayer-funded paid leave from the scheme.
 
Thursday
 
Tasmania: the Coalition announced an 11-point ‘jobs growth’ plan for Tasmania, including upgrading Hobart airport to create 200 jobs, the establishment of a Tasmanian Major Project Approval Agency as a regulatory ‘one stop shop’ for investors in major new projects valued over $50 million and a joint Commonwealth-State economic council.
Others
 
From the NSW Business Chamber and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry:
Wednesday
 
1. Airport: the NSW Business Chamber released a major economic report prepared by Deloitte Access Economics demonstrating that a second airport for Sydney located at Badgerys Creek could generate more than 28,000 extra jobs in Western Sydney by 2050. The Chamber urged both major political parties to use the Federal Election campaign to detail their plans for major infrastructure planning and spending.

2. Apprenticeships: the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on all political parties to respond, as a matter of urgency, to the dramatic drop in apprenticeship commencements. It says employers are losing confidence in the apprenticeship system because they cannot rely on consistency in the approach by both federal and state governments.

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