Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has unveiled plans for a jobs summit, slated for September, which aims to promote wage growth across the country.
The jobs summit on 1 and 2 September promises to bring together businesses, the government, and labour unions to discuss industrial relations and other workforce challenges such as productivity and pay. The goal is to strengthen and improve relations between employers and employees.
"We want – wherever possible – employers and unions to work together," the Prime Minister said, adding that employers and unions have a common interest that impacts the nation.
Albanese first promised the summit and Labour's commitment to a "full employment white paper" in 2021. The Parliament House will host the jobs summit, with about 100 expected attendees.
Finding solutions amid rising inflation
Treasurer Jim Chalmers said they would be "picking" the brains of experts to figure out solutions to the rising inflation and job vacancies. The government, he said, transitioned during high and rising inflation, labour shortages, and falling real wages.
Chalmers believes they owe it to the Australian people to find common ground so that the government can solve challenges and achieve shared objectives. He vowed to move quickly should a common ground be reached during the summit.
Treasury will use the jobs summit to create a white paper, which the department will hand back within a year.
Other concerns on the agenda include the enterprise bargaining system and the "massive backlog" of temporary migration visas.
Sally McManus, secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, welcomed the jobs summit as an opportunity to address the "broken bargaining system."
Meanwhile, the Business Council of Australia believes the jobs summit would be a chance to "reset the economy."
Jennifer Westacott, CEO of the Business Council of Australia, said that to achieve the country's full potential and lock in a secure economic future, there must be a way to recapture the unprecedented level of cooperation that saw the country through the pandemic.
Headline inflation has soared to 5.1% in the March quarter, but wages have not kept pace.
The Fair Work Commission in June ruled for a 5.2 per cent increase in the minimum wage, while it lifted award minimum wages by 4.6 per cent.