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What a wonderful world it could be – Jobs and Skills Summit

I have absolutely unrealistic expectations of the Jobs and Skills Summit. A Summit about the well-being of people through meaningful work is music to the ears of all career professionals. 

So much work has already been done. My professional organisation, the Career Development Association put in a submission to the Summit a couple of weeks ago. Ours will be one submission among many that have already been received. 

180,000 Free TAFE PLaces

There will be 180,000 free TAFE places in Australia. That will be about 18,000 free TAFE places in WA. 

I hope by “TAFE” they mean ‘”VET” as TAFE colleges in WA are already bulging at the seams.

For the past couple of years, the WA government has been pumping money into upgrading TAFE buildings and infrastructure, and into free or low-cost courses. I don’t think there is any capacity to significantly increase the number of students on campus. 

Online learning for mature workers

I’m not a big fan of online learning for young people, but decent flexible, online learning for experienced workers who are seeking to keep up with changes in their industries would be great. That would take some pressure off face-to-face facilities. 

Child Care in a Cash Economy

You are currently allocated child care in proportion to the number of hours that you work. 

Many mothers of young kids work for cash – whether in the local coffee shop, ironing business shirts for friends or making birthday cakes. They can’t prove that they are working so they don’t get subsidised childcare. 

Removing the proof of work requirement will increase their capacity to earn money. 

Micro business owners fly by the seat of our pants

You need to be an ‘eligible job seeker” to get help to set up a business from the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme. We don’t qualify as an “eligible job seeker” so can’t get that help.

We hate dealing with the Tax Department, with insurance issues, with our computers when they get gremlins. We fly by the seat of our pants and hope that nothing goes wrong. We undercharge and believe that the only way people will pay us is if we cut our prices. 

We don’t qualify to get training to take our cake decorating to a new level. 


All those women at home, ironing business shirts, making birthday cakes and providing child care for friends, would benefit from help from a small business case manager who supported them to set up a micro business as a more professional enterprise. The “eligible job seeker” requirement is a prohibitive barrier to us getting support to increase productivity. 


Students earn money designing websites, fixing their friends’ computers, babysitting and gardening. Their need for flexible work arrangements makes this sort of work suitable. 

A small business case manager would help them to expand their business and give them fantastic employability skills. 

Commonwealth Employment Service

The ABC ran a story this morning about how the Commonwealth Employment Service used to be focused on helping unemployed people. 

Nugget Coombs, who was one of the chief bureaucrats responsible for developing the full employment policy, argued … that the employment service should simply provide such high-quality service that everyone would want to use it.

Yes. What a wonderful world it would be. A government-funded and run employment service that actually HELPED unemployed people and people who don’t “qualify” for support that would increase our capacity to become more productive. 

Unrealistic Expectations for a Wonderful Future

Many Australians are performing way below capacity because of government barriers that stop us from achieving our potential. 

I have great expectations that many of these barriers will be removed. 

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