A national productivity agenda must include better training for Australia's corporate executives in identifying and implementing measures to genuinely boost productivity, the ACTU said today.
With rising company profits over the past decade many employers have taken their eye off the ball when it comes to genuine commitment to lifting productivity, said ACTU Secretary Dave Oliver.
"We are concerned there has been a loss of skills in the ranks of Australian management in identifying measures to genuinely improve productivity and in engaging employees in finding solutions to business problems.
"Rather, they tirelessly argue that the solution to every productivity ill is workplace law reform. In fact, industrial relations laws have a negligible impact on productivity.
"It's time to refocus the productivity debate on the things that matter: innovation, infrastructure, training, collaboration and better management."
In talks with business and government today on national productivity, the ACTU will advocate a number of measures including:
- Requirements for continuous training for company executives in identifying and implementing genuine productivity improvement measures
- True collaboration on productivity through industry councils bringing together unions, government and employers
- A real commitment to skilling up Australians with a push to boost participation and completion rates in vocational and educational training
- A structured approach to driving innovation by increasing engagement between industry and the research sector to generate new processes and products
- A national infrastructure plan to target investment projects critical to improving productivity.
Unions have always supported genuine productivity improvement because it drives economic growth and improves living standards for ordinary people, said Mr Oliver.
"We are looking forward to sitting down with business and government to develop a new approach to productivity.
"At the same time, we'll also be making the case that as we work to boost productivity we have to keep fighting for fairness. We need to make sure all Australians have the opportunity to access the good jobs rising productivity can deliver."
Contact: Ben Ruse 0409 510 879 or Eleni Hale 0418 793 885