Australia Prime Minister Anthony Albanese asserts that the Jobs and Skills Summit in Canberra will push through this week despite calls from other leaders to focus on Australia’s migration intake instead.
Considering Australia's recent economic challenges, the government is organising the two-day summit for employers, leaders and unions to address long-term employment issues.
In a statement released by the Treasury, the summit aims to increase productivity and shape the future of Australia’s workforce. It will be held on 1 and 2 September, led by the Prime Minister together with other state ministers.
However, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the summit was unnecessary to address talent shortages. Instead, he suggested, the government should take on more foreign workers.
The Prime Minister responded that he was looking forward to working with leaders across different states but acknowledged that the summit wouldn’t quickly end all of Australia’s economic hurdles.
“You are not going to have a summit on Thursday and Friday and wake up on Saturday and there are no skill shortages; that is not what is going to happen,” Albanese said.
Despite criticism, the Prime Minister deemed the summit a success, asserting how it is important to ensure people are aware of the country’s significant economic challenges.
"We want to give Australians those opportunities. At the same time, we recognise that the immediate skills shortages need to be dealt with and we will be dealing with those constructively," he said.
The summit will be the first one since former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Australia 2020 summit back in 2008. The summit gathered 1,000 leaders to talk about the workplace, the environment, health and the arts.