“The summit comes at a critical time for the country. With record low unemployment rates, Australia faces an acute skills shortage,” Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said.
“Universities have a fundamental role to play in solving labour shortages – helping to build the workforce of tomorrow and delivering the best and brightest people our economy needs.
“Over the next five years more than 600,000 new jobs will be created that will require a bachelor’s degree or some form of post-secondary education.
“To get a good job in the major areas of jobs growth – like IT, health and STEM – you will need a university or vocational qualification.
“Without skilled workers our productivity suffers. When national productivity falls, our living standards fall.
“Universities are at the heart of driving Australia’s productivity – helping to make everyone better off – through the highly skilled graduates we produce and technological and social innovation we generate through research.
“In almost every industry sector you will find major partnerships with Australia’s universities to keep the pipeline of people and research flowing.
“Australia urgently needs more graduates and more people quickly upskilling through things like micro-credentials – all of which universities can design and provide.
“Whether it’s teachers or nurses or many other essential professions and occupations now in short supply, universities and VET institutions can help.
“We look forward to bringing practical solutions to the summit table and contributing to the White Paper process.”