Release type: Speech


G20 Labour and Employment Ministers Meeting Intervention


The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

Introduction and Acknowledgements

Thank you, Chair.

On behalf of the Australian Government I thank the Indian G20 Presidency for organising this important global dialogue, and thank the Honourable Prime Minister Modi and the Minister of Labour and Employment Bhupender Yadav for their leadership and excellent addresses to this Forum.

Australia fully supports India’s G20 Presidency, and its aim to drive a strong, sustainable, and resilient global recovery.

This task continues to be made more difficult by Russia’s war in Ukraine, which is having widespread impacts on families, employment, skills development, and stable social protection across G20 member countries and the global community.

It is essential we uphold strong multilateral relationships to safeguard global peace and stability.
India’s G20 Priorities

This is why Australia supports the choice by the G20 Presidency of policy priorities that promote global unity and collaboration.

Addressing global skills challenges, improving social protections for workers, especially those working in gig and platform economies, and sustainable financing of social protections are vital issues for G20 nations to consider.
Australian skills priorities

As Australian Minister responsible for Skills and Training, I would like to highlight what Australia is doing to address skill shortages and support workers gain the skills needed for secure and rewarding work in areas of high demand.

Australia is removing the cost barriers that prevents the access of many to life changing vocational education and training and is funding fee-free training places in high demand areas.

Like other nations, Australia is facing skills shortages across our labour market.

To combat this we are investing strategically and working with all levels of government, employers and workers to make sure the skills and training being delivered reflects emerging market needs.

We are also reforming and expanding access to foundation skills training so adults can improve their literacy, numeracy, and digital skills.

Around 3 million Australian adults are not able to participate fully in education, training or secure work because they lack foundation skills.

The Australian Government wants to change this.
G20 Brisbane Goal
Australia remains committed to the Brisbane Goal of reducing the gap between men and women’s labour force participation by 25 per cent by 2025.

The Australian Government is continuing to take action to support women’s participation in the labour force, and to improve their conditions.

We are working to increase the representation of women in historically male dominated and better paid industries, while strengthening wages and conditions for workers in professions dominated by women.

Caring for the sick, the elderly, supporting people with disability, child care and education for pre-school children is so vital to our communities, yet it is historically among the lowest paid. 

This year Australian aged-care workers received a 15 per cent increase – funded by our government - in recognition of the historic under-valuation of the important work they do.

Making sure that women are supported through paid maternity leave will mean more of our skilled workforce can balance having a family while maintaining a working life. 

Which is why we will increase government-funded paid parental leave to 26 weeks by 2026. 

Net-zero goal

Collective global action means addressing challenges that face all countries.

Like the need to protect the environment, reduce emissions and develop sources of clean, renewable energy.

Our government has committed to a net-zero economy by 2050. 
Transformation to net zero also brings challenges but also unique opportunities to create new and secure jobs that will benefit the environment, industries, and societies. 


Thank you again, Chair.

It is very valuable to attend this meeting and learn about the approaches other G20 members are taking to address our common challenges.

Australia looks forward to further dialogue today continuing our work during Brazil’s G20 presidency next year.