Employment growth - arguments and inquiries

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Employment growth - arguments and inquiries

A new ACTU analysis has thrown doubt on a key plank of the Federal Government's argument for radical changes to workplace laws; and the Federal Government is to conduct an inquiry into rural skills training and the skills needs of agricultural industries.

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A new ACTU analysis has thrown doubt on a key plank of the Federal Government's argument for radical changes to workplace laws; and the Federal Government is to conduct an inquiry into rural skills training and the skills needs of agricultural industries.

Cutting minimum wage won’t lift jobs, ACTU figures say

A new ACTU analysis has thrown doubt on a key plank of the Federal Government's argument for radical changes to workplace laws by showing high levels of employment growth can be achieved without cutting minimum wages.

ACTU figures show that in recent years employment in Australia has grown at more than three times the rate of low minimum wage countries like the United States.

No evidence

President Sharan Burrow said there was simply no evidence for the assertion by Government that cutting minimum wages would create more jobs:

‘Over the past five years minimum wages have grown by a modest 2.9% in real terms in Australia but have fallen by nearly 12% in the United States,’ she said.

‘In the same period jobs growth in Australia has outstripped the US by more than three to one (10.4% against 2.9%).

‘Jobs growth in the UK has also been higher than that of the US despite very significant rises in UK minimum wages as part of a concerted UK campaign against poverty and inequality.’

The ACTU is to coordinate a national campaign against the Howard Government’s planned changes to the Australian workplace relations system.

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Govt to look at rural skills needs

The Federal Government is to conduct an inquiry into rural skills training and the skills needs of agricultural industries.

The Federal Minister for Agriculture Warren Truss, said the House of Representatives Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Committee will conduct the inquiry.

Issues before inquiry

The inquiry will examine:

  • The availability and adequacy of education and research services in the agriculture sector, including access to vocational training and pathways from vocational education and training to tertiary education and work;

  • The skills needs of agricultural industries in Australia, including the expertise and capacity of industries to specify the skills-sets required for training, and the extent to which vocational training meets the needs of rural industries;

  • The provision of extension and advisory services to agricultural industries, including links and coordination between education, research and extension; and

  • The role of the Australian government in supporting education, research and advisory programs to support the viability and sustainability of Australian agriculture.

More details

Further details about the inquiry, including terms of reference and submissions, can be obtained from the committee’s website or by contacting the committee secretariat on (02) 6277 4500 or emailing primind.reps@aph.gov.au.

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