Program update – Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda

image001On the 15th October 2015 the Prime Minister, the Hon Tony Abbott MP, launched the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

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:

  1. Encouraging employee share ownership;
  2. Reforming the vocational education and training sector;
  3. Promoting science, technology and mathematics skills in schools;
  4. Accepting international standards and risk assessments for certain product approvals;
  5. Enhancing the 457 and investor visa programmes; and
  6. 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:

  • A more skilled labour force – improving education and training (pdf | docx)

Media Release

Media release from Minister Macfarlane – Competitiveness Agenda tackles youth unemployment – 15 October 2014


Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry responses:

Business Council of Australia response:

Australian Industry Group response:

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