Canberra pushes organisations to invest in workplace training 

Sophia Wichtowska, Content Writer

A recent article published in the Australian Financial Review reported that senior members of parliament are pushing for businesses to focus on workplace training. 

Federal Minister for Employment, Michaelia Cash, urged businesses to invest in workforce training in an effort to boost workplace productivity.  


"The reality is that business investment in workplace training has been going in the wrong direction for some time," Senator Cash said.

"Business needs to play its part. Workforce planning is not simply a problem for government, and the solution will lie with industry as well.”

Despite the proven benefits of investment in learning, work-related training has dropped from 26.9 per cent in 2013 to 21.5 per cent in 2016-17.

"That’s stark evidence and a call for employers to invest more in the skills development of their employees to make their businesses more sustainable.  A trained workforce brings greater productivity returns and better wages," Senator Cash said.

Each state, along with the Commonwealth Government, acknowledges that investment in training is essential to ensure the economic benefits are spread across the whole country.

Prime Minister backs skills training focus

Scott Morrison also encouraged businesses to improve skills training programs, and stressed that he is not prepared to continue investing in failing programs. 

"We know the current system is not working and a lot of people come to us saying you need to invest more in skills – well I would be happy to invest more in skills but I am not going to invest in dud projects that aren't working." he said.

"There are lots of trainers who are happy. There is lots of money moving around. But the point is you need to get someone trained with a skill that someone else needs. 

"I am not going to pour more money into a bottomless pit that is not taking anyone anywhere and I think industry would have the same view."

Recently, the Office of the Chief Economist published data making a link between the amount of investment in skills training and the overall performance of a business.

Senator Cash said employers need to predict which skills their workforce will need in the future and to invest in the appropriate pathways. 

Making the case for eLearning

Online learning is an efficient and cost-effective way to deliver workplace training, and there is a proven return on investment. 

42 percent of companies in America believe that by utilising eLearning initiatives, they’ve been able to increase their revenue.

Opportunities for ongoing learning and growth are also important for employees to feel invested in the organisation they work for.  

Senator Cash highlighted that replacing a team member costs employers an average of $28,000, and that one of the main reasons workers moved on was to seek more opportunities to develop skills. 

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