It looks as though it is going to need all hands on deck across all sectors of the business world to address the current skills drought. What Phillip Guest of Michael Page International had to say in a Saturday Age advertising feature sounds like good clear thinking. Following are some excerpts:
“At The Policy Level
Securing our future skills supply requires a sustained response from the government, the business sector and the recruitment industry…
At the policy level, investment in tertiary education, targeted skills migration policies and affordable child care are all issues. So too is a competitive tax system as many of our young professionals who are working overseas are benefiting from more attractive tax schemes.
Government is beginning to address these broad areas of policy but the effort needs to be long-term and targeted at white collar workers as well as blue collar workers…
What Business Can Do
Companies need to invest in their own growth and in the training and professional development of their employees. Our research shows that career development is the most effective way to retain staff…
On the domestic front the business community needs to improve the flexibility and adaptability of roles to better target low participation groups. For professional occupation groups this means mature-aged workers and skilled women with families. These groups represent a valuable and underutilised talent pool that can be re-engaged with flexible working arrangements.
What The Recruitment Industry Can Do
More active lobbying of regulators is required and the Recruitment and Consulting Services Association should be commended for bringing issues such as skilled migration and the 457 Visa to the policy agenda.
Australia needs to be repositioned as the career destination of choice rather than simply a lifestyle choice.
Progressive government policies encouraging higher participation rates will not be effective if employers do not receive guidance on the workforce restructuring necessary to deliver flexibility.
The devil is in the detail when it comes to improving participation rates through workplace flexibility. Offers made with the best intentions frequently fail because the practicalities haven’t been thought through.
Valuable employees, whether working mothers or mature-aged workers, will walk away because they cannot do the job effectively within agreed time frames.”
Are you applying any of these approaches in your business? If so, how is it going?