Presenter: Professor Bill Mitchell

Australian regions face many challenges and at present regional policy development is not in a sufficiently coherent state to address these challenges. In the labour market, we see evidence of skill shortages being coincident with pools of underutilised labour and diminishing job opportunities for workers. In particular, there is now a dearth of employment opportunities for our youth.

There is a need to develop a new approach to regional development that is embedded in a viable macroeconomic framework that acknowledges that the fiscal and monetary policy settings should deliver macroeconomic stability - that is, full employment and price stability - but at the same time complement regional development strategies that are sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms. The aim of regional policy is to ensure that communities throughout Australia have access to the economic and social infrastructure necessary to facilitate full participation and promote wellbeing.

Such a new regional employment framework should emphasise increased public sector infrastructure spending, the implementation of a National Skills Development framework and the acceptance that job creation and training initiatives go together. This integrated policy framework would provide more effective ways to assist disadvantaged individuals into employment and advance sustainable solutions to persistent unemployment across regional Australia with constraining private entrepreneurial initiatives.

PPP Seminar_Creating effective employment opportunities in regional Australia.pdf

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - 10:00 to 11:30