National occupational licensing system abandoned

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National occupational licensing system abandoned

The Council of Australian Governments has decided (by majority) to abandon a national scheme designed to reduce barriers to labour mobility arising from state and territory occupational licensing requirements.

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The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) has decided (by majority) to abandon a national scheme designed to reduce barriers to labour mobility arising from state and territory occupational licensing requirements.
 
This was a key outcome of the COAG meeting in Canberra on Friday, 13 December 2013.

About the scheme

During the tenure of the former Labor Federal Government in 2008, COAG agreed to the introduction of National Occupational Licensing Scheme (NOLS). It was designed to reduce red tape for people in a number of specific occupations; thereby, making it easier for them to work in every jurisdiction, not just the one in which they are licensed.

Specifically, the scheme would have removed the cost of unnecessary training, while retaining appropriate qualification requirements, removed the cost of duplicated licences across states and territories, and removed complication and inconsistencies.

Now what?

However, according to the communique of the 36th COAG meeting, last Friday, most jurisdictions identified, through extensive state-based consultation, a number of concerns with the proposed model, including potential costs.

Instead of proceeding with NOLS, the states and territories have agreed to investigate approaches that would increase labour mobility and deliver net benefits for businesses and governments.

To this end, they will work together via the Council for the Australian Federation (CAF) to develop alternative options for minimising licensing impediments to improving labour mobility and to manage the orderly disestablishment of the National Occupation Licensing Authority (NOLA) from early 2014.

According to NT News, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the states and territories would now work on achieving a seamless national economy in a ‘less cumbersome, less time-consuming and more productive way’.
 
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