All Queensland businesses must have a voice at the national Jobs and Skills Summit

Tuesday 30 August, 2022

Queensland’s peak business body is calling on leaders to ensure businesses are top of mind at the national Jobs and Skills Summit this week with a new report revealing labour shortages and cost increases are making it even tougher to do business.  

Jobs and Skills Summit QLD business voice

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has drawn on the June quarter Pulse Survey to provide a direct voice for the state’s business sector for the Summit.

The recent Pulse Survey indicates challenging labour market conditions are having a bigger impact on small to medium enterprise (SMEs).

Close to 80 per cent of small and medium businesses reported facing increasing labour costs in the June quarter, a rate 7.2 per cent higher than the Queensland average.

Recruiting and retaining full-time and part-time staff had also been difficult for 66.5 per cent of businesses surveyed. In addition, 30.5 per cent reported difficulties attracting and retaining casual workers.

Small and medium businesses across a range of industries in Queensland expect they would need to rearrange job roles and employee responsibilities in the next three months, including communications services (67 per cent), construction (65 per cent), manufacturing (62 per cent), retail (43 per cent) and accommodation, cafes and restaurants (43 per cent).

CCIQ CEO Heidi Cooper said the results only emphasised the importance of all business needs, regardless of their size, being given due consideration at this week’s Jobs and Skills Summit.

“It is vital the interests of businesses of all shapes and sizes from right across the country are front and centre of the debate at this important Summit,” Ms Cooper said.

CCIQ has been working closely with the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) to ensure Queensland businesses have a voice at the Jobs and Skills Summit, which is being held this Thursday and Friday at Parliament House.

ACCI has a seat at the summit alongside employers, unions, civil society and governments, as the Federal Government looks to address economic challenges, including skills shortages and keeping unemployment low while raising incomes.

ACCI has identified two key themes for the Summit to focus on: stagnant productivity and overwhelming skills and labour shortages.

“We have worked closely with ACCI to ensure the voice of Queensland business and industry is loud and clear,” Ms Cooper said. 

“In particular, we know there is a need for skills reform and training incentives to help alleviate the impact of skills and labour shortages on Queensland businesses’ ability to not only operate day-to-day but to grow long-term. We expect there to be a focus on skills and training.”

The Summit’s themes and outcomes will inform a federal Employment White Paper, which will help to shape the future of Australia’s labour market. 

Ms Cooper said CCIQ would also continue to advocate on behalf of its members beyond the Summit.

“Transformational solutions to increasing labour costs, skills shortage, and support for re-training for businesses are the issues we will particularly monitor and champion,” Ms Cooper said.

“It is our aim to make it easier for businesses to thrive by improving their ability to attract and retain staff, and their capacity to pay competitive wages.

“This will ensure Queensland businesses are best positioned to capture once-in-a-generation opportunities for growth, diversification and sustainability through events like the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the state’s advance toward a more sustainable energy future.” 

Acknowledgement of Country

Business Chamber Queensland respectfully acknowledges the Traditional Owners and custodians of the lands from across Queensland and the Torres Strait. We acknowledge the Jagera and Turrbal people as the Traditional Custodians of Meanjin (Brisbane), the lands where our office is located and the place we meet, work and learn. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.