Jobs Summit ignores trucking sector

Trucking sector criticises outcome of the NSW Government's Jobs Summit, claiming its views on reducing unemployment were ignored

The trucking sector has criticised the outcome of the NSW Government’s Jobs Summit, claiming its views on reducing unemployment have been ignored.

The NSW branch of the Australian Trucking Association (ATA NSW) has expressed disappointment following the Government’s response to the summit, which resulted in a 13-step blueprint to reduce unemployment over the next 12 to 18 months.

Although the Government will look to slash red tape and regulation as part of the plan, Jill Lewis from the ATA NSW says it should also be focussed on overhauling training standards.

"We said numerous times during the summit that one of the biggest hurdles for attracting new business to NSW is the lack of a universal training system across Australia," Lewis says.

"It’s hard enough for business to attract new employees, but when the skills they have gained interstate are not recognised here it’s often impossible."

While the ATA’s position was rejected, Lewis says the Government may pursue it later on.

"Unfortunately the Government haven’t [sic] included our ideas in this round of responses, but we are hopeful that they [sic] will take a proactive role in the future," Lewis says.

The plan, based on the views of more than 300 delegates who attended the summit in February, will direct the Government over the next 12 to 18 months.

As part of the initiative, the Government will spend $70 million attempting to attract new industries, as well as reducing industry costs by $500 million by improving regulations and planning.

Businesses will also receive incentives for adopting environmentally-friendly practises, with the Government spending another $2.5 million to support small businesses.

There will also be changes to streamline government procurement, support for retrenched apprentices, planning processes to fast-track projects and attempts to market NSW internationally.

Premier Nathan Rees held the summit over two days from February 26 to 27. The summit was designed to seek input from businesses, employers, unions and representative groups on how best to protect jobs and ensure the State's workforce had the skills to meet the demands of new and emerging industries.

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