Councils ready to train and upskill Australia’s future workforce

Through traineeships and apprenticeships, local governments are ready to train the next generation of Australian workers.

Australia’s 537 councils currently employ almost 200,000 people across 400 different occupations but collect less than 4% of national taxation.

Many councils are heavily reliant on Federal Financial Assistance Grants, which have slipped from 1 percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue in 1996 to just 0.55 percent today.

After attending both days of the Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit at Parliament House, ALGA President Linda Scott said councils were willing and ready to be part of the solution to Australia’s jobs and skills crisis.

“I want to thank our Treasurer Jim Chalmers for acknowledging in his closing remarks that local government is central to the way forward,” Cr Scott said.

“Like the rest of our country – and the rest of the world – councils are experiencing significant skill shortages.”

“We need more engineers to build our bridges and libraries, we need more planners to approve housing, we need more environmental health inspectors to keep our environment clean and green, and we need more building surveyors to keep our buildings and local facilities safe.”

“We don’t want to lose our people but we understand, as governments, our commitment to the public good extends beyond our own skill needs, and we are here to help.”

“By hiring more trainees and apprentices, we can help train Australia’s future workforce, across literally hundreds of occupations.”

“Importantly, we can give our children opportunities to start their careers in the community they grew up in.”

“By building great places to live, with affordable housing, sporting grounds and thriving main streets, we can provide attractive destinations for skilled migrants.”

“In our cities, we’re building the economic global powerhouse of industry and innovation.”

“Through investing in literally millions of local infrastructure improvements – from cycleways, libraries and first mile/last mile transport connections through to local disability, multicultural, early education and care – we can better support businesses to grow and help boost our national productivity.”

“Restoring Financial Assistance Grants to at least 1 percent of Commonwealth taxation revenue would support local governments to invest in workforce planning and development, increasing the productivity of their workforce and helping them train Australia’s workers of the future.”