Governments must act on education and training

Governments, both Federal and State, must immediately address and reform the education system’s ability to increase the stock of knowledge-based workers available for employment, says the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).

“Without a sweeping reform of the education system, Australia will not address the significant skills deficits that are abundantly apparent in the economy,” said IPA chief executive officer, Andrew Conway.

“Where businesses have a high demand for skilled labour but are constrained by lack of resources, then there is a prima facie case for government intervention.

“We believe that the strongest argument for government intervention relates to the potential for positive spill-over into the wider economy, as highly skilled workers move around employers and disseminate their knowledge.

“One in six businesses in Australia faces a problem involving skills deficiencies.

“According to research undertaken by Deakin University as part of the joint Small Business White Paper,  some 64,000 businesses have an identifiable skills deficiency in relation to finance professionals, 55,000 in relation to marketing professionals, and 45,000 businesses are deficient in IT professionals.

“This indicates that while there may be trade skill shortages relating to the construction boom, there is a bigger problem on the horizon with deficiencies in high value added professional services.

“To stem the tide of skills shortages, we are urging governments to consider the inclusion of enterprise training at all levels of the education system from early school years to further and higher education institutions,” said Mr Conway.

For further discussion refer to the IPA’s pre-Budget submission 2015-16 on the IPA website, /2015budget