12 April 11 Two class

Kelly Services calls on business leaders to take action in preparing for a new workforce

Rethink training infrastructure and take long-term view to ensure future workforce has the necessary skills

April 11, 2012

Kelly Services, a world leading provider of workforce solutions, is calling on business leaders and government to take an active role in ensuring that Australia's future workforce has the capacity to cope with the countries increasing talent needs.

Karen Colfer, managing director, Kelly Services Australia, said, “Australian business leaders need to rethink their current in-house education and training infrastructure, while government needs to address predicted shortfalls in talent at a secondary and tertiary education level.

“The fundamentals that have traditionally underpinned the Australian employment market have shifted greatly over the past five years and are expected to continue shifting for at least the next decade as the country grapples with the demands of an ongoing mining and resources boom.”

According to Colfer employers’ desire for an increasingly skilled but flexible workforce coupled with a generational change that is seeing people re-think the way they approach their work, has played a significant role in declining loyalty and tenure rates. This has led to a reduction in the level of in-house training offered by employers.

Colfer said, “The traditional notion of employers providing training to maintain employees’ employability for years to come no longer exists, while at the same time obstacles for people wanting to go to university are mounting, with subsidies and other government benefits being reduced.

“Without a concerted effort, the gap between "available skills" and "demand" will become a chasm over the coming decade.”

Not only will this impact future prosperity for employers by reducing their capacity to be productive, it will also drive significant social issues increasing the number of unskilled people and putting pressure on support agencies.

Colfer continued, “Overseas hiring of skilled talent is a short-term solution. As the global talent pool continues to shrink the importance of this issue at a domestic level escalates.

“The onus is on business leaders to work with government to identify and develop the workforce Australia needs for tomorrow.

“Employers need to re-commit to intense training programs that put skills in the hands of those that need them and government needs to work on channeling young Australian’s into education programs that will develop a skills base that matches Australia’s long-term commercial needs.”

Media contact:
Michelle Taylor
Recognition PR
02 9252 2266