Employers react to 2022-23 federal budget

Find out why employers and businesses call it a 'mixed bag' budget

Employers react to 2022-23 federal budget

Last Tuesday, the federal government had announced its 2022-23 budget. Employers around the country said the announcement would “maintain business recovery” and “build capacity in the economy” but businesses remain cautious as challenges are still ahead.

In a media release from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), employers said that “without significant reform, chronic workforce shortages and languishing productivity” would continue, resulting in a “long road” to recovery.

“Regrettably, this year’s budget doesn’t address some of the more pressing challenges facing the Australian economy, including a far-reaching agenda for tax reform, stronger focus on innovation, and building business investment, supply chain capability and productivity.  Presumably, these will have to wait until next year,” ACCI chief executive Andrew McKellar said.

“Amid the worst labour and skills shortages in 48 years, and an expected further decline in unemployment to an ultra-low 3.75 per cent, continued investment to skill our local workforce and boost participation will be absolutely crucial to ensuring business can thrive,” McKellar added.

ACCI also noted the government’s funding into training centers. “Significant additional funding for a new National Skills Agreement is an important boost and will provide for a valuable increase in the number of training places if this is accepted by state and territory governments,” McKellar said.

ACCI welcomed a newly developed Workforce Australia platform. “With many businesses unable to satisfy the demand for labour, a return to permanent skilled migration to pre-pandemic levels of 160,000 arrivals per year will be insufficient in making up the lost ground over the COVID-19 pandemic,” McKellar said.

The reform of employment services through the said platform should also “enable jobseekers to better link with available services and employment opportunities,” ACCI said.

Through a technology investment boost, the government's strategy is also expected to target small businesses. ACCI said it would “level-up” the latter, as it would “enhance their digital capability, competitiveness and business capacity in an increasingly online world.”

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