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National Jobs & Skills Summit held in Canberra at the start of September shed light on the untapped potential of the solar industry to create more jobs in regional Australia.

 “The last two days have recognised the extraordinary opportunity for Australia to create hundreds of thousands of clean energy jobs across regional Australia. With a strong spirit of positivity and collaboration, the outcomes from the Summit represent major progress in developing the workforce necessary to ensure Australia becomes a global clean energy superpower,” Clean Energy Council Chief Executive Kane Thornton said.

The clean energy industry has been prominent in ensuring a solid understanding of the sector’s workforce and opportunities. The detailed analysis of the current state of the clean energy workforce outlining the emerging skills gaps and advocacy for a range of reforms detailed in the ‘Skilling the Energy Transition’ report is clear.

Some of the critical areas of agreement from the Summit of importance to the clean energy sector include:

  • Commitment to reform of the VET and University sectors and recognition of the importance of the tertiary education system in developing the future workforce, which was complemented by a $1.1 billion training blitz providing 180,000 additional free TAFE places from the state, territory and Federal Governments.
  • A commitment for governments to play a more decisive role in the transition of key communities across Australia, with a more coordinated and active approach to those fossil-fuel-based communities in transition.
  • Reskilling and cross-skilling workers and creating new regional economic opportunities.
  • Strong recognition of the challenges and opportunities facing women and First Nations people from participating in the clean energy revolution.
  • Many of the agreed reforms to address this opportunity can significantly impact the role and opportunity for women and First Nations people in the clean energy workforce.
  • Increase in permanent migration and reforms to our visa system to attract a global workforce and students to support our vision for Australia to become an international centre of excellence.

The Clean Energy Council has also congratulated the leadership of the Albanese Government for taking a range of decisive and swift actions to restore confidence in the clean energy sector through strong targets and sensible policy. This will play an essential role in supporting the industry to continue to invest in the future workforce.

“The Clean Energy Council will continue to lead and advocate for reform and change to ensure that we deliver the workforce necessary for Australia to become a clean energy superpower,” Thornton said.

“We look forward to working with the Federal Government to develop a National Energy Workforce Strategy and a First Nations Clean Energy Strategy.”

Rewritten from the media release

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