21 Feb New agency Jobs and Skills Australia urged to centre lived experience and equity and to engage broadly
Women in Adult and Vocational Education (WAVE) and the Equality Rights Alliance (ERA) have called on the new national workforce and training agency Jobs and Skills Australia (JSA) to ensure that equity is at the heart of Australia’s education and training system.
In a joint submission to the Australian Government the organisations also urge JSA to ensure that that system is centred on the lived experience of all users and that the agency works hard to be available and visible in the community.
Kit McMahon, National Co-Convenor of WAVE said:
“With many current and emerging industries struggling to find and retain suitable workers, JSA has a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the nation’s future workforce and in ways that address workforce gender segregation and gender inequity.”
“JSA is privileged with the oversight of aligning our workforce and training systems. If it’s to honour its goals, it must be structured and governed in a way that centres the diverse voices of those that use the education and training system and, ensure that equality and equity is at the heart of its decision making – not a bolt-on after-thought as it has been for the last few decades”.
“JSA’s governance and advisory structures should be designed to centre lived experience of all users including students/trainees/apprentices and business/employers, as well as industry peak bodies.”
ERA Covenor, Helen Dalley-Fisher said:
“In an environment where the government has committed to gender responsive budgeting and the progressive application of gender impact analysis to all policy, it would be short sighted if JSA was established without a core commitment to intersectional gender impact assessment across its functions.”
“The workforce and the way the workforce is trained is gendered. Women are far more likely to work part time, be in less senior roles and experience a significant pay gap.”
“If we are to address pay inequity, enable women to support themselves and have options to leave violent relationships, and have more superannuation, then part of the systemic response has to be an equitable education and training system.”