Key points A safe, secure and prosperous future for Australia depends on a strong economy. A strong economy delivers more jobs, improved living standards and better services such as child care, education, health and infrastructure. A strong economy also ensures our defence forces and security agencies have the resources necessary to keep Australians safe. Since the Coalition was first elected in 2013, we have created almost 1.9 million new jobs. Our labour market has shown remarkable resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression. Australia has out-performed all of the major advanced economies in terms of job creation and economic growth coming out of the pandemic. Under the Morrison Government’s economic plan, unemployment is down to 3.9 per cent - the lowest in 48 years - and is expected to fall even further. This is considerably lower than the 5.7 per cent unemployment rate left by Labor. Our continued investment in skills, with record numbers of Australians undertaking trade apprenticeships, is equipping our workforce with the skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow. But there is more to do – and the next stage of our plan will lead Australia’s strong economy into the future. A re-elected Coalition Government will: Create another 1.3 million jobs over the next five years. Back small businesses with tax incentives to embrace the digital economy and upskill and train their employees. Ensure Australians have the skills they need through an additional $3.7 billion to support 800,000 new training positions. Provide $2.8 billion in additional incentives to train the next generation of apprentices and trainees. Help disadvantaged younger Australians into work through the ReBoot program to build life and employment skills. Invest $482 million to improve women’s economic security and build on record female participation in the labour force, including through enhancing paid parental leave and incentives for women to take up non-traditional trade apprenticeships. Deliver a record $120 billion 10-year infrastructure investment pipeline. Invest $7.1 billion for key regions across Australia as part of our Energy Security and Regional Development Plan to transform them into next generation export hubs. Establish a $2.0 billion Regional Accelerator Program to drive growth and productivity in regional areas. Invest $2.2 billion to support university innovation and industry collaboration. Ensure reliable and affordable energy, by investing $22 billion in renewables and low-emissions energy technology to power our economy. Transform Australia’s manufacturing sector through its $2.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy. Position Australia as a top 10 data and digital economy by 2030 through our Digital Economy Strategy. Expand export opportunities through market-opening trade deals. An uncertain international economic outlook underlines the need for experience in guiding the economy. Labor has no economic plan. Over the last 30 years, Labor Governments have, on average, delivered higher unemployment, higher interest rates and higher electricity prices. And not a single balanced budget. Labor has already promised to spend $81 billion more on policies throughout the pandemic. Labor can’t say how they’ll pay for their promises. And they can’t manage money. That means higher deficits and higher taxes. The Australian people have the choice between the Morrison Government that is delivering a strong economy and a stronger future or Anthony Albanese’s Labor Party that just does not get the economy and is too weak to stand up to the Greens or the unions.1. Create 1.3 million jobs over the next five yearsOur Government has a strong track record of job creation. Under this Government, almost 1.9 million more Australians are in work, despite the COVID-19 global pandemic. Around two-thirds of these new jobs are full-time. A re-elected Coalition Government will create another 1.3 million jobs over the next five years. We will do this by keeping the economy strong, and with a comprehensive plan to skill Australia’s workforce, a plan to keep taxes low for workers and small businesses, a plan to invest in our regions including $7.1 billion in transformative infrastructure projects and $2 billion to drive growth and productivity through our Regional Accelerator Program, and a plan to transform our manufacturing sector through the Modern Manufacturing Strategy. 2. Backing Australian ApprenticesThe Coalition has a strong record of backing apprentices and trainees. We have delivered record levels of support to save a generation of skilled Australians, and prioritised retention and growth in trade and non-trade apprenticeships and traineeships. The Morrison Government is investing a record $7.8 billion this financial year to keep apprentices and trainees in jobs and help Australians re-skill. This follows a significant package of support to apprentices from the outset of the pandemic. Our Supporting Apprentices and Trainees wage subsidy helped apprentices and trainees keep their jobs during COVID’s devastating first wave. Our support has seen the number of trade apprentices currently in training rise to 220,000 – the highest level since records began in 1963. Over 530,000 apprentices and trainees will be supported by the wage subsidies we have announced since the pandemic hit, with total pandemic apprentice wage subsidy support now reaching over $7.6 billion. A re-elected Coalition Government will continue to back Australian apprentices through: Extending the highly-successful Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements Program for three months to 30 June 2022, providing employers with a 50 per cent wage subsidy for taking on a new apprentice or trainee. This will take our commitment under this program to $5 billion and is expected to support 385,000 apprentices. The Completing Apprenticeship Commencements program, which provides a 10 per cent wage subsidy in the second year and a 5 per cent wage subsidy in the third year. This will ensure the continuation of the highest levels of in-training trades apprenticeships in decades and create a robust pipeline of skilled workers to support Australia’s economic recovery. Investing a further $2.4 billion from 1 July 2022 to upskill apprentices through a streamlined Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System that will provide support to employers and apprentices in areas of skills need identified by the National Skills Commission. Employers will be eligible for 10 per cent wage subsidies in the first two years of hiring a new apprentice and a further 5 per cent in the third year, while apprentices will be eligible for up to $5,000 in support payments. Enabling eligible apprentices to access the expanded Australian Apprenticeship Support Loans to help with everyday costs of up to $21,542 over the life of the apprenticeship. This will include aged care and child care workers for the first time. Committing $2.8 million to increase In-Training Support by an additional 2,500 places for young Australians. 3. Skilling AustraliansThe Morrison Government is reforming the VET sector, ensuring greater transparency, quality reforms and increased funding of a re-designed industry-led approach. This will ensure the training system is delivering the skills Australians need for high-paying jobs and the skilled workforce businesses need to thrive and grow. We are also committing to substantial funding increases for this reformed system. A re-elected Coalition Government will: Negotiate a new National Skills Agreement with States and Territories, which would provide each jurisdiction with a major boost to funding for skills training in priority areas. The Coalition Government is committing an extra $3.7 billion for skills training that could support an additional 800,000 training places. Drive reforms to improve the skills system, including increasing fee transparency, strengthening the role of industry, supporting higher quality training delivery, extending the scope, reach and effectiveness of foundation skills programs, and strengthening apprenticeships. The Coalition is prepared to invest more in a better training system. In return, we are asking the States and Territories to target training funding to help Australians get into work and help employers recruit the skilled workers they need to grow, and ensure every Australian who needs literacy and numeracy help is supported. Continue the JobTrainer program, in partnership with the States and Territories, which has been highly successful in skilling Australians throughout the pandemic. The $2.1 billion program has created around 478,000 free or low-fee training places in areas of skills need. This includes 48,000 places in aged care training. Encourage small businesses to invest in the skills of their employees and train new ones through the Skills and Training Boost. Small businesses with annual turnover less than $50 million can access a new bonus 20 per cent deduction for the cost of external training courses delivered by registered training providers. This will apply to expenditure incurred from Budget night (29 March 2022) until 30 June 2024, providing $550 million in tax relief. 4. Supporting women into work, including in non-traditional tradesFemale employment under this Government has reached record highs. Of the 1.9 million jobs created under our Government, over 1.1 million of those new jobs are female workers, with female participation rates at record levels and female unemployment at its lowest level since 1974. A re-elected Coalition Government will: Invest $346.1 million to support families and support women in the workforce by creating Enhanced Paid Parental Leave. Up to 20 weeks of fully flexible leave will be available for eligible working families to provide increased choice in how they manage work and care. The Government is also adjusting the income test to increase eligibility and further support workforce participation. Commit $38.6 million to encourage more women to undertake non-traditional trade apprenticeships through in-training support and targeted mentoring services. These additional services will help encourage more women to complete apprenticeships in male-dominated trades such as carpentry and construction. Invest $4.7 million over five years from 2022-23 to encourage women into the manufacturing industry through networking events in metropolitan and regional areas and a mentorship program for women at all stages of their manufacturing career. Provide $3.9 million to support more women into digitally skilled roles. In partnership with industry, this initiative will provide mentoring and coaching to facilitate a mid-career transition into the ‘tech workforce’. 5. Employment programsThe Morrison Government continues to invest in Australia’s workforce as part of our plan for a stronger future. Our employment systems, including our mutual obligation requirements, have worked to move people from unemployment and into jobs and, prior to the pandemic hitting, had reduced Australia’s level of welfare dependency to the lowest level in 30 years. Workforce Australia will launch from 1 July this year to deliver a simple and connected service to find the best employment services pathway for jobseekers. It will include a modern digital platform designed to be a single front door for all government employment and skills programs. Individuals with greater needs will be supported through tailored and intensive services. A re-elected Coalition Government will: Establish ReBoot, which will build life and employment skills for disadvantaged young Australians. This new pre-employment program for young people aged 15-24 will help build the capacity of disadvantaged youth so they can connect with and benefit from existing youth employment programs, ensuring they are part of the economic recovery. Invest $249.1 million to address workforce pressures as part of its National Care and Support Workforce Strategy. Invest in the Puggy Hunter Memorial Scholarship Scheme for up to 300 training places for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in carer professions. Provide $636.4 million to expand the Indigenous Rangers Program, which will fund more than 1,000 additional ranger jobs in regional and remote Australia. 6. Regional skillsThrough the Coalition Government’s $2 billion Regional Accelerator Program, we will continue to assist in the important role of developing a skilled workforce in regional areas. A re-elected Coalition Government will: Provide a boost to regional apprentices through an additional 5 per cent wage subsidy in their first year. This will be on top of the 10 per cent support provided through the streamlined Australian Apprenticeships Incentive System. Provide $22.6 million for more than 29,000 additional in-training support places to ensure regional apprentices have the support they need. 7. Skilled migrantsWhile the Coalition Government remains focused on getting as many Australians into work as possible, skilled migration has a role to play – particularly to support the international education and tourism sectors and to address workforce shortages. A re-elected Coalition Government will: Ensure that skilled stream places account for around 70 per cent of the Migration program in 2022-23, increasing the number of skilled workers to around 110,000. Continue to deliver faster, cheaper skills assessments that will acknowledge the valuable skills migrants have brought with them, and their ability to contribute to the workforce. Our RecordThe Australian economy and labour market has outperformed all major advanced economies. The Morrison Government provided $314 billion in economic support during the pandemic, helping Australians get to the other side of the greatest economic shock since the Great Depression. This included the JobKeeper program – the single biggest economic support program in Australia’s history. The Reserve Bank of Australia says JobKeeper saved at least 700,000 jobs and Treasury said it prevented the unemployment rate from reaching 15 per cent. Unlike the Labor recession of the early 1990s, the Morrison Government’s employment recovery was fast, saving livelihoods and protecting jobs – especially those of younger Australians. Jobs lost following the initial 2020 lockdowns were recovered in just one year. The unemployment rate recovered to pre crisis level in just over a year. In the Labor recession of the early 1990s, employment took over four times as long to recover, while unemployment rose from around 6 per cent to over 11 per cent and took nearly ten years to recover. Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers said that “The most important test of this Government’s management of the recession and its aftermath is what happens to jobs”. There are currently 399,400 more Australians in work than before the pandemic. Despite the pandemic, unemployment is at its lowest level since 1974, with record participation rates. Youth unemployment has reached its lowest level in over 13 years and there are a record 220,000 Australians in trade apprenticeships. We have established the $2.1 billion JobTrainer Fund with the states and territories, providing 478,000 free or low fee training places in areas of skills need. This includes 48,000 aged care training places. The economy is stronger now than when Labor left office. Taxes are lower. Funding for schools and hospitals has been guaranteed and life-saving medicines are again being subsidised. Australian exports are at record levels, boosted by trade deals that have provided Australian exporters with duty-free or preferential access to consumers in the world’s fastest-growing regions. Our farmers and rural communities are being supported. Over 1.9 million jobs have been created and the unemployment rate has fallen to 3.9 per cent and will decline further. The underemployment rate is also at its lowest level in over 13 years. Wages growth is forecast to rise at the fastest pace in almost a decade as the labour market tightens, and the Government has taken steps to provide cost of living relief to households. Our plan continues this record of strong economic and jobs growth. The Risk of Labor There is a clear choice at this election. A choice between the Coalition Government that is delivering a strong economy or the Labor Party that would weaken our economy. A choice between the Coalition Government that is responsible with the nation’s finances or the Labor Party that can’t manage money. A choice between the Coalition Government that can afford to pay for better infrastructure and services or the Labor Party that would threaten our AAA credit rating. The uncertain international economic outlook only underlines the need for responsible and experienced economic management. None of the Opposition Leader, the Shadow Treasurer or the Shadow Finance Minister have delivered a federal Budget. The Labor Party has already admitted they will not constrain themselves on taxation, with Jim Chalmers already stating he is “not attracted” to the discipline provided by the Government’s 23.9 per cent of GDP tax cap. He was one of the architects of Labor’s $387 billion in higher taxes at the last election - many of those policies still supported by the unions and the Greens. And remember, when Labor runs out of money – they come after yours. Labor means fewer jobsIn just the last six years, the Coalition Government created more than 50 per cent more jobs than the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government, despite an economic crisis 30 times bigger than the Global Financial Crisis. In the next five years, a re-elected Coalition Government will help create another 1.3 million jobs. Only the Coalition has a proven record in job creation. When Labor last came to office, the jobless rate was 4.4 per cent. When they left government six years later, unemployment was 5.7 per cent and rising. And there were 54,300 fewer young people with jobs. This is Labor’s record of job destruction – not job creation. An Albanese Government will surrender to militant unions Labor wants to let militant union bosses take charge of the construction industry. They have promised a return to lawlessness by abolishing the industry watchdog, the Australian Building and Construction Commission. This organisation protects hundreds of thousands of small construction businesses and more than 1.1 million construction workers from CFMEU thuggery. Labor would allow a return to bad behaviour by dodgy trade union bosses by abolishing our anti-corruption agency for unions and employer associations, the Registered Organisations Commission. They would also endanger the livelihoods of 35,000 owner truck drivers by promising a return of the union-friendly trucking tribunal that threatened to put them out of business. COALITION LABOR Unemployment rate 3.9 per cent (Apr-22) Unemployment rate 5.7 per cent (Sep-13) Youth unemployment rate 8.8 per cent (Apr-22) Youth unemployment rate 12.7 per cent (Sep-13) Underemployment rate 6.1 per cent (Apr-22) Underemployment rate 7.4 per cent (Sep-13) Average jobs created per month 18,700 (Oct-13 - Apr-22) Average jobs created per month 13,100 (Dec-07 - Sep-13) Economic Growth The economy is forecast to grow by 4.25 per cent in 2021-22 Economic Growth 2.1 per cent when Labor left office Female participation rate 62.1 per cent (Apr-22) Female participation rate 58.7 per cent (Sep-13) Apprentices A record 220,000 trade apprentices in training Apprentices In 2012-13, the number of apprentices and trainees in training collapsed by 110,000 – the largest decline on record. CostFunding for the Coalition’s Plan for More Australians in Jobs is already provided for within budget estimates.