The Government seeks to achieve four overarching ambitions in the Agenda:
- A lower cost, business friendly environment with less regulation, lower taxes and more competitive markets,
- A more skilled and flexible labour force,
- Better economic infrastructure, and
- Industry policy that fosters innovation and entrepreneurship.
There are a number of actions contained in the Agenda and the six key initiatives are:
- Encouraging employee share ownership;
- Reforming the vocational education and training sector;
- Promoting science, technology and mathematics skills in schools;
- Accepting international standards and risk assessments for certain product approvals;
- Enhancing the 457 and investor visa programmes; and
- Establishing Industry Growth Centres.
At the centrepiece of this announcement for the department is the Industry Growth Centres Initiative. The Government has allocated $188.5 million over four years to drive growth and jobs in five areas:
- food and agribusiness;
- mining equipment, technology and services (METS);
- medical technologies and pharmaceuticals;
- advanced manufacturing; and
- oil, gas and energy resources.
The Growth Centres will help industry exploit new global markets and supply chains, and invent and commercialise new products and services.
The VET sector will play a central role in the Government’s vision to create a stronger economy, boosting our productivity and our competitiveness by producing workers with the skills employers need.
The VET Reform Agenda is delivering real improvements for industry, students and training providers; strengthening Australia’s training system for a sustainable future.
For further information on VET reform as part of the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda see the factsheet:
Media release from Minister Macfarlane – Competitiveness Agenda tackles youth unemployment – 15 October 2014
Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry responses:
- Human Capability At The Heart Of Innovation And Competitiveness Agenda
- Entrepreneurs And Start-Ups Will Benefit From Innovation And Competitiveness Agenda
- Improving Australian Global Competitiveness
Business Council of Australia response:
Australian Industry Group response: