Regional employment will be on the agenda when groups meet for talks ahead of the government’s jobs and skills summit.
Regional Affairs Minister Catherine King will meet virtually with industries, unions and peak bodies on Tuesday for the first of four roundtable discussions taking place before the summit.
The jobs and skills summit, set to take place over two days in September, will bring together 100 people from government, unions, businesses and civil society.
The roundtables will go on to inform the key talking points at the summit in Canberra.
Ways skilled workers could be encouraged to move to the regions, along with improving liveability and housing affordability, are set to be among the topics for discussions during the meeting.
Ms King said she aimed to help build more productive workforces, particularly in regional communities where skill shortages exist.
“We also want to create even more opportunities for Australians to get ahead and reach their aspirations, while bolstering incomes and living standards,” she said.
“I’m committed to ensuring voices from right across these sectors are heard and represented to ensure we achieve these outcomes.
“The roundtables will ensure a wide range of views is reflected at the jobs and skills summit in September.”
Future roundtables will be held later this month, focusing on infrastructure, aviation as well as surface transport.
“I know the challenges and opportunities each of our sectors and regions face is unique – there isn’t a one-size-fits all for a nation as proudly diverse as ours,” Ms King said.
“I look forward to listening to a range of the people that learn, live, work and hire within each of these sectors and across our regions.”
Ahead of the summit, the government has floated the possibility of raising the annual skilled migration cap from 160,000 to as high as 180,000 or 200,000.
However, a final threshold has not been determined.
(Australian Associated Press)