Good secure work should pay the bills. For too many of us, it’s simply not the reality. There 1.7 million Australians either unemployed or looking for more hours. Many more can’t get a home loan, can’t get sick leave, and can’t get ahead. Labor will tackle job insecurity and low wages head on.
We’ll also invest in the skills Australia needs to drive future economic growth. Labor will provide Australians access to Fee Free TAFE, create more university places and tackle the skill shortages that are holding back our COVID-19 comeback.
This is good for jobs, good for people looking to train or retrain, and good for businesses, which need more skilled workers.
Labor’s plan for Fee Free TAFE will target the skills gap in critical workforces. There will be 465,000 fee-free TAFE places for Australian students studying in industries with a skills shortage, including 45,000 new places.
An Albanese Labor Government will deliver up to 20,000 extra university places over 2022 and 2023, making it easier for Australians to find a spot at university and get a job. Labor will prioritise places at universities which are able to offer additional courses in national priority areas like clean energy, advanced manufacturing, health and education, or where there are skills shortages.
Under the Morrison Government, there are at least 70,000 fewer people doing an apprenticeship or traineeship than there were almost a decade ago. Labor will train thousands of workers by ensuring one in ten workers on major government projects is an apprentice, trainee or cadet.
Labor will establish Jobs and Skills Australia as a national partnership to drive VET education and strengthen workforce planning by working together with employers, unions and the training and education sector.
Labor Governments are good for wages. Under the Morrison Government wages are going backwards – with the cost of living rising by 3.5% over the last 12 months, while wages increased by just 2.3%.
If you do the same job as someone else, you should get the same pay. There are worksites across the country where workers do the same job, work the same shifts, but get paid less than their colleagues. Labor will enshrine ‘same job, same pay’ into law.
More gig work and short-term contracts means less secure work. Having a secure job with sick leave and holiday pay means you can save up for a house, take care of your family and get ahead.
Labor will enshrine secure work as an objective of the Fair Work Act. This means the Fair Work Commission will have to put job security at the heart of its decision-making.
Wage theft rips more than $1 billion off Australian workers each year. The Morrison Government doesn’t think it’s a problem, but Labor does, and we will make wage theft a crime at a national level.
Australia’s gender pay gap is almost 14%. It’s not good enough. That’s why Labor will lead a national push to help close the gender pay gap.