Labor’s positive plan to get Australia started

Today Labor announces our positive plan to get Australia started by investing in the creation of an innovation and education economy.

A Shorten Labor Government will invest $17.8 million in important reforms to drive a new generation of innovators, risk-takers and wealth-creators.

In a time of economic change and transition, the choice before Australia is clear: we must get smarter – or we will get poorer.

Labor believes Australia can be the startup, technology and science capital of Asia by supporting a new generation of innovators here, bringing great expats home and attracting the best minds from around the world.

This positive policy will help more Australians make breakthroughs and adapt technology here in Australia because our future prosperity depends on harnessing Australian ideas and defining a new global market for world-leading products.

It is estimated that we will need another 100,000 ICT workers in Australia by 2020.

But Labor wants Australians to have the skills and support to create the jobs of the future, not just fill them.

The majority of jobs to be created over the next decade and beyond will be in companies that don’t exist today.

Australia has some great startups – they are also significant and growing employers – but we need more companies like this.

Australia currently has one of the lowest rates of startup formation in the world.

Labor believes government has a role to play – not replacing private investment, or crowding it out but by fostering a culture of innovation, rewarding people for good ideas and getting behind Australian creativity and enterprise.

For the past two years, Labor has been working with industry on a comprehensive plan to take advantage of the transition to the digital economy to secure today’s jobs, tomorrow’s jobs and ensure that no one is left behind.

A Shorten Labor Government will create a Startup Year at universities so students can develop their idea, get business knowhow and connect with finance.

To ensure a comprehensive, well thought out approach to tackle the crippling digital skills shortages confronting the country, Labor commits to the development of a National Digital Workforce Plan.

We will also create two new visa classes to attract the best global entrepreneurial talent to help build Australia’s growing startup ecosystem.

Labor will create a new platform for government to engage our best and brightest minds in the challenge of public policy problems, based on the US Government’s

Labor will also establish an Innovation Investment Partnership, bringing together VC, superannuation fund and startup stakeholders – designed to identify and overcome barriers to investment in Australian-based VC funds.

Of course all of this requires Labor’s first rate NBN for all Australians – the biggest, most important infrastructure investment Australia will make this century.

Today Labor has announced the next stage of Labor’s positive plan for a smarter, more prosperous Australia.

We know that in the future, 2 in 3 jobs will require a university degree.

That’s why Labor announced our positive plan for higher education – A plan for more university graduates, not $100,000 degrees and a lifetime of debt.

This also builds on Labor’s Budget-In-Reply commitment to:

– Coding in every primary school and every secondary school across Australia
– Student debt wiped for up to 100,000 young people who study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at university, especially women;
– 25,000 teaching scholarships for highly skilled STEM graduates go on to teach in our schools; and
– $500 million Smart Investment Fund to back-in great Australian ideas and help them compete on the world stage.

Labor will boost productivity and growth with science, skills, knowledge and a culture that supports innovators, risk-takers and wealth-creators.

This is part of Labor’s plan to secure the jobs of the future today by investing in an innovation and education economy.

This policy has been fully costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office and more details are available at