Addressing the deepening skills and labour shortage is vital for the incoming Government, says EMA.
In the current skills shortage environment, the incoming government needs to have a cohesive strategy for growing the workforce of today and in the future.
“Automation and advancements in technology will certainly change the way we work, however we will always need people. In our most recent survey 65% of respondents said there is, or soon will be, a skills shortage in their sector. This is clearly an area the next government needs to address,” says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA.
He added that the impact of key demographic changes, such as a declining birth rate and an ageing population, had to be fed into the wider discussion. Along with the role of immigration in the short and medium term.
“While we must invest in educating and training our youth for the workforce, it is also vital we have a co-ordinated approach around mature workers too.”
In the EMA Election Manifesto, several recommendations were made to close the skills and training gaps. These included:
- Applying more funding to fill the skills gaps in the trade sector and incorporate an employer-based approach
- Policies need to reflect lifelong career development, including a continuation of funding and support for workplace literacy programmes; and an co-ordinated approach to managing an ageing workforce
- Ensuring the immigration process is less complicated. Automatic extension of temporary work visas for sectors placed on the skills shortages list
EMA is currently leading a multi-organisation workstream on managing an ageing workforce. It also partners with a range of organisations on initiatives to develop workplace skills, which include the Youth Employability Programme, Workchoice Day and workplace literacy programmes.