MBA says national competitiveness agenda should support workplace training

Thursday, July 11th

In a speech at the National Press Conference in Canberra, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced that he plans to introduce a national competitiveness agenda.

This, Mr Rudd hopes, will help Australia make a smooth transition from our heretofore mining and resources-based economy to a non-mining driven one in the coming weeks and months. He said the national competitiveness agenda is a “clear-cut policy” that “puts productivity first”.

The Age reports that improving productivity is the central theme of the agenda, which is based on seven reform areas.

Mr Rudd believes Australia can increase its rate of annual productivity if the right measures are taken, with The Age reporting that the Prime Minister wants to lift this from 1.6 per cent to 2 per cent or above. “The truth is if we are to drive a new national competitiveness agenda we need to have government, business and unions working as much as possible together,” said Mr Rudd. He realises that there will always be disagreements, but said these three entities must be “pushing in the same strategic policy direction for the overall wellbeing of our national economy”.

Master Builders Australia has welcomed the national competitiveness agenda.

“The building and construction industry must feature large as the economy transitions from the mining resources boom,” said Wilhelm Harnisch, chief executive officer of Master Builders Australia, in a July 11 statement. “The new agenda must result in an increase in global and domestic competitiveness as well as increasing productivity.”

Mr Harnisch added that Master Builders Australia would unanimously back a policy that, in addition to business productivity, focused on the regulatory impost on business, as well as skills and vocational education and training.

Spectra Training, a registered training organisation, believes regular and effective workplace training is the key to improving productivity and competition in SMEs. By incorporating Lean Thinking into all of Spectra’s training programs, the aim is to reduce waste in all its forms so as to make Australian businesses more competitive.