03/02/14 - Slower growth in key markets like China and India is reducing momentum across the Australian economy, cutting into employment opportunities and putting more pressure on the government to ensure that public policy delivers optimal results for growth and job creation.
A new report from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development finds that local employment and training agencies could play a greater role in contributing to both job creation and productivity. The report, Employment and Skills Strategies in Australia, emphasises the importance of better coordinating employment and training programmes, to ensure alignment with employer needs while better tackling unemployment, addressing skills shortages and helping young people find jobs.
Reforms to Australia's employment services system, notably the creation of workforce boards in regions and communities to better engage employers, could turn the workforce development system into a genuine tool for local job creation, economic development and business expansion, according to the report. To achieve these objectives, employment services programmes should be designed to ensure that job seekers' skills are aligned to new areas of growth.
The review by the OECD LEED Programme looks at the role of Local Employment Coordinators, introduced by the Department of Employment to work in 20 "priority employment areas" identified as needing extra assistance following the global financial crisis. The review is part of a new OECD series focusing on the role employment and training agencies in job creation and productivity across 12 OECD countries.
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