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Hawkesbury business, education, union and community sector reps join business roundtable

Aug 21, 2022

Local business, education, union and community sector representatives met at a roundtable this week, focused on challenges in employment and skills in the Hawkesbury, ahead of a national summit next month.


Macquarie MP Susan Templeman listens to the views of some attendees at the Hawkesbury Jobs and Skills Summit held in Windsor


Representatives from sectors including manufacturing, farming, retail and education attended the roundtable held at Windsor Function Centre, one of three hosted by MP Susan Templeman across the Macquarie electorate in Hawkesbury and the Blue Mountains.


“It’s clear Hawkesbury residents, business owners, and workers want their government to look ahead and make real plans so we can shape our future, and I was very pleased so many joined me for such an important conversation and be a part of the solution,” Ms Templeman said.


“We discovered the challenges people were facing at the forums generally fell into five categories – labour shortages, getting the right skills, employment rules and regulations, the liveability of our region, and recruitment and retention,” the MP said.


“These categories encompassed a range of issues – everything from transport issues like train line closures for potential employees, to a smaller pool of people looking to work in certain industries, and even a collective exhaustion in the wake of multiple natural disasters and the Covid pandemic.


“It was good to get a range of views on the challenges, as well as possible solutions to help our area going forward.”


“We have come to government at a time of rising inflation and interest rates, falling real wages and a trillion dollars of debt. In addition to those national economic challenges, our region has been hit with multiple natural disasters over almost three years, which has affected our local economy.


“That’s why, ahead of the Jobs and Skills Summit that is set to be held at Parliament House in September, I invited locals to be part of these roundtables focused on the challenges they were facing so our local priority list will feed into the national conversation and help formulate government policy.


“As I explained to those present at the roundtables, I will be preparing a brief to take to the summit so our concerns are on the table in Canberra.”


The Federal Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit will be held at Parliament House in Canberra on September 1 and 2. It will be led by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers, with themes and outcomes informing the Employment White Paper, which will help to shape the future of Australia’s labour market.


The Summit will cover a range of topics with a focus on:

  • Keeping unemployment low, boosting productivity and raising incomes

  • Delivering secure, well-paid jobs and strong, sustainable wages growth

  • Expanding employment opportunities for all Australians including the most disadvantaged

  • Addressing skills shortages and getting our skills mix right over the long-term

  • Improving migration settings to support higher productivity and wages

  • Maximising jobs and opportunities from renewable energy, tackling climate change, the digital economy, the care economy and a Future Made in Australia

  • Ensuring women have equal opportunities and equal pay


“The Albanese Government’s goal is to build a bigger, better-trained and more productive workforce, boost incomes and living standards and create more opportunities for more Australians to get ahead,” Ms Templeman said.


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