MEDIA RELEASE: Employment White Paper identifies early childhood, employment services as key to future of work

  • Major opportunities in early childhood development, employment services and place based initiatives to align secure employment and the long-term wellbeing of people and communities 
  • Government should be a more active player in service design and delivery to achieve better outcomes
  • Focus services on getting people support they need, in the way they need it, instead of a one size fits all approach

Monday 25 September 2023 – Today’s Employment White Paper presents a bold reform plan to reignite productivity growth through building a skilled future-ready workforce, helping people overcome barriers to work and broadening opportunities for all Australians.

It sets Australia’s sights on delivering decent work and economic security for all, and highlights their important place in supporting the wellbeing of current and future generations.

It also illustrates the vital role that employment services and early childhood development will play in delivering sustained, inclusive full employment.

The Centre for Policy Development (CPD) submission to Treasury identified the great importance of   these areas of public policy as well, alongside people- and place-centred reform approaches. 

Centre for Policy Development Deputy CEO Annabel Brown, said that each of these areas were vital to Australia’s future wellbeing and prosperity.

“The early childhood sector is recognised as critical social infrastructure enabling workforce participation, a key job creation engine in the care economy, and a profound contribution to thriving future generations. 

“Creating a universally accessible, high quality early childhood education and care system will boost long-term productivity, help more women and parents enter the workforce, and strengthen the care sector. 

“Access to quality early childhood education, as part of a connected early childhood development system parents can rely on, will see gains for current and future generations by building foundational skills and setting children up for success in later life.

“On employment services, CPD emphasises the need for the government to become a more active player in service delivery, and to build a locally focused service system, available to anyone that needs it, that better connects jobseekers with decent, sustainable work with local employers and industry. This will require a mindset shift and an uplift in public sector capability. 

“Government needs to get back in the game, on the side of people, providers, employers and communities. 

“The White Paper shows how important thorough, long-term and far-reaching service system reform is after the travesty of robodebt. We are hopeful the ongoing Workforce Australia inquiry will set us on this course.”

“People- and place-centred policy reform connects government with people and communities to build on their strengths, and meet their needs more closely.

“It’s encouraging that we are seeing the federal government consider the more active, collaborative approach to employment and other services that has been a success at a local level in countless initiatives across Australia.”