CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-118

Title: Coordinating Policies for Human Resources Development

Author: G.A. Meagher


In its recent White Paper on Employment and Growth, the Australian Government announced a comprehensive new agenda to supplement its existing employment policies. It includes the following major elements

* reforms to labour market assistance;
* training and education reforms;
* a reconstructed social security system;
* a regional strategy;
* workplace agreements; and
* microeconomic reforms.

An important consideration in the implementation of such a multi-faceted policy program is that its various elements are not independent of each other. While the Government has been at pains to ensure that the program is coherent in a qualitative sense, its quantitative assessment of the interdependencies between the program's elements has been limited.

In this paper, we consider some of the issues associated with coordinating policies for human resources development, using the White Paper and the National Vocational Education and Training (VET) Strategy to provide a context for the discussion. In particular, we review the role of the MONASH forecasting system as a vehicle for coordinating the training plans of decentralised advisory bodies within the National VET Strategy. We also describe how the system can be used to delineate interdependencies in the Government's program, and include a quantitative assessment of effects of proposed microeconomic reforms on the demand for labour in particular occupations.

JEL Classification: C68, D58, E47, I20, J21.

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