The skills shortage is a challenge that existed before COVID. Border closures and the significant disruption to certain industries have amplified this issue.
The apprentice subsidies and removal of the fringe benefit tax for retraining are steps in the right direction for both business and helping people gain employment.
Finally, regional communities came into the COVID crisis already under pressure from drought, flood and bushfires. The continued investment announced in the budget is welcome.
Improving infrastructure and services in these areas could align nicely with the redesign of the workplace already underway due to COVID – which were already occurring as we see more and more flexible working practices emerging.
At ANZ, we know businesses are under a lot of pressure to navigate, reinvent themselves and work harder than ever to stay viable. With unemployment a reality for many, individuals experiencing hardship and stress are a harsh reality and require support.
The business owners we have been speaking to at ANZ are generally positive about the range of support available during the COVID-19 crisis to give them the best chance of survival. Obviously more is always welcome and this budget can feed into that environment.
We know many are doing it tough but we are constantly amazed at the resilience of the business community.
The ingenuity, ability to pivot and reinvent, and determination in spite of all the challenges the community is facing will see many of these businesses emerge even stronger, which is critical for the economy and employment.
This budget is an important step in that direction. As its implications become more evident we will work closely with customers to help them make the most of new measures.
Jenefer Stewart is General Manager Business Banking at ANZ