Connecting Local Industry to Steelmaking Coal Procurement Opportunities
Assisting the resource and construction industry supply chain in planning and tendering for up-and-coming project procurement opportunities throughout Australia, Connecting Industry hosted an event this week focussed on the development of the Olive Downs Complex.
A large-scale, world-class steelmaking coal mine located in the Bowen Basin of Queensland approximately 40km southeast of Moranbah, the mine is expected to create up to 500 jobs during construction and more than 1,000 new jobs when the project reaches full operation.
The development is expected to provide numerous benefits to the region, including indigenous employment and training opportunities for members of the Barada Barna aborignal community and recruitment policies focussed on locally-based personnel and gender equality.
Aged Care Workers pay increase
Last week’s federal budget delivered an historic 15% pay rise for aged workers, in line with the Fair Work Commission’s order to increase wages for underpaid workers in the sector. It is hoped that the increase will both attract and retain employees, in a predominantly female dominated sector that ‘has been historically undervalued’ says Australia’s minister for aged care, Anika Wells.
The aged care sector has grown significantly across the country, by 65% over the last five years according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistic Labour Force data. In Central Queensland, the data shows growth in the sector over the last five years has been measured at 102%. The government’s Labour Market Insights data for Fitzroy shows that health care and social assistance workers account for 18.1% of the local labour market. Compared to the next two largest employing sectors, the retail trade and mining sector, both representing 9% of the local workforce, the scale and significance of this wage increase across the sector is clearly apparent.
Overall, women make up 70% of managers and 84% of non-managers in the sector and the move is a positive step towards addressing women’s economic inequality in the workforce.
Domestic and Family Violence Leave
Newly introduced this year, the Family and Domestic Violence Leave entitlement is accessible for all employees. The entitlement, which applies to all employees, including part-time and casual, entitles employees to 10 days of paid family and domestic violence leave each year. Businesses are obligated to understand the new entitlement and ensure compliance, which will include updating systems such as payroll and revising HR policies and procedures.
The leave is introduced as part of the National Plan to End Violence against Women and Children, a policy framework that will be implemented over the next 10 years. The October budget invested $1.7 billion in the plan, with an additional $589.3 million invested in this month’s budget.
Confidential information, counselling and support for people impacted by domestic and family violence (including employees and employers) is available at the 1800 RESPECT website, the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service.
Support for workforce participation
This year’s federal budget was strongly focussed on the cost of living package, with increased payments to those receiving government payments. This included JobSeeker and student payments increasing by $40 per fortnight from 20 September 2023.
Changes to the JobSeeker program, equating to $4.9 billion, and $3.7 million of pension incentives are policy measures that have been put in place to enhance workplace participation for older Australians.
Whilst this year’s federal budget prioritised support for those currently outside the workforce, there is a real need to increase the skills, capacity and productivity of our current workers to meet the demands of a modern digital economy. Investment in new and emerging technologies and further education and skills development of those currently participating in the workforce are areas for improvement if we are to accelerate our economy.
Jobs and Skills Australia releases latest recruitment survey results
Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) have released new analysis that shows employers use many varied approaches to advertising their job vacancies.
The Jobs and Skills Australia, Recruitment Experiences and Outlook Survey shows that in Queensland, advertising on internet job boards is the most common method of finding staff, with 65% of employers using this method in 2022. Social media usage in regional Queensland is an increasing method of advertising, with 32% of employers using this method for higher skilled jobs, well above the national average of 20%. Also, more prevalent in regional Queensland is word of mouth advertising, at 31%.
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