Recent Ai Group affirms sector concerns for the Australian Furniture Industry. Australia’s skills shortage gap continues to expand and without immediate and innovative intervention from government at all levels, the entire Furniture Industry supply chain will continue to struggle.
Australia’s skills shortage gap continues to expand and without immediate and innovative intervention from government at all levels, the entire Furniture Industry supply chain will continue to struggle said Australian Furniture Association (AFA) CEO Ms Patrizia Torelli.
Citing the Ai Group skills survey released last month – Listening to Australian businesses on skills and workforce needs – sounded yet another alarm on the skills shortages and gaps plaguing the Australian economy – and these are being reflected within the furniture industry affirmed Ms Torelli.
The Ai Group survey of nearly 350 business leaders from a wide range of Australian companies asked businesses about their skills and workforce needs and challenges. The respondents said that when they need to implement a new business model, adopt a new technology or implement a customer focussed plan, they are constrained because they are struggling to secure the right people with the right skills to get the job done.
This survey reflected the furniture industry’s ongoing concerns of its members, and importance of State and Federal Governments acting upon the much-needed reforms that are required.
‘When it comes to the solution needed to address industry woes, all roads lead to education and training – skilling, re-skilling and upskilling – at scale’ added Ms Torelli.
‘Of course, it’s complex and a huge national challenge, but it can be done but we need to start rebuilding workforce capacity as a matter of urgency’.
‘No sector of our population should be left out. Age, gender, geography, current educational attainment, disability or disadvantage should not matter. If we are serious about building an economy for the future, we need to use all the resources at our disposal.
So, what can be done about it?
- Create a culture of lifelong learning, by building an education and training system that is capable of rapidly and flexibly upskill existing workers.
- Focus on developing leadership and management capabilities with particular emphasis on new roles, tasks and capabilities.
- Improve digital skills across the board, starting with digital literacy as part of post-school education and training, upskilling older workers, and ensure no one is left behind.
- Ensure apprentice/trainee incentives support consistent training pipelines over time, by incentivising employers and those in training, and encouraging completions.
- Implement the recommendations of the Noonan Review of the Australian Qualifications Framework (AQF)
- Work towards a more coherent and connected tertiary education system by removing the current barriers for students wanting to move between the VET and higher education sectors.
- Ensure tertiary education funding is equitable across sectors, sufficient to deliver access and equity principles and supports both public and private providers.
‘The Ai Group survey results should be a call to arms for all’, concluded Ms Torelli.
Ai Group’s latest skills survey is available here 2022 Skills Survey: Listening to Australian businesses on skills and workforce needs | Ai Group