National Economic Reconstruction Plan

Our Plan for Jobs

Australian Unions have developed a National Economic Reconstruction Plan, with 5 concrete ideas to tackle the issues of job insecurity, inequality, and record-low wage growth.

“We cannot and must not accept a jobless recovery or a recovery that leaves the next generation with a social deficit from which they will never recover.”

Michele O’Neil, President, ACTU

Our Five Concrete Ideas for National Economic Reconstruction

We cannot expect that the economy will naturally bounce back to ‘normal’ of its own volition. The crisis has shown that pre-pandemic ‘normal’ was neither acceptable nor sustainable.

Australia’s economy was already in big trouble before the coronavirus landed on our shores. Due to years of failed trickle-down economics, wage suppression, and austerity, we entered the COVID-19 pandemic with an economy that was hardly growing at all.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can work collaboratively and ambitiously to build a new normal.

Our National Economic Reconstruction Plan is our positive vision for a national plan to create decent, secure work after COVID-19, and initiate the sustained reconstruction required to get our economy and society working for everyone.

Early childhood education and care

Economic studies have confirmed that public investments in early childhood education and care literally pay for themselves. Universal access to early childhood education and care is essential, not just to increase women’s
participation in the workforce, but also to better the lives of future generations of children.

Training for reconstruction

The importance of training has been accentuated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many industries and occupations have been deeply affected by the crisis, and high-quality education and training can play a vital role in helping workers adjust to the coming changes in employment patterns. Investing in good quality education and training creates jobs directly within the education and training system, building and operating institutions, and education and training students.

Rediscover Australia

Consumer-facing hospitality, retail, tourism and arts industries were the first and hardest-hit by the health-required shutdowns in the economy. An integrated Rediscover Australia sponsorship and internal tourism program will facilitate internal travel, restore consumer and tourist confidence, and help sustain the broader tourism and hospitality sectors until the time comes when normal international tourism flows can be restored.

National reconstruction investment plan

The National Reconstruction Investment Plan will aim to boost public capital spending back to 6.5% of GDP, and maintaining it there for the rest of the decade. The National Reconstruction Investment Plan would support the creation of 75,000 direct jobs in construction, and over 100,000 additional indirect jobs in supply and consumer industries.

Sustainable manufacturing strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted existing supply chains and trade patterns. This disruption reminded Australians of the critical need to preserve a well-rounded domestic manufacturing capability. We are very vulnerable to disruptions in supplies of critical medical equipment, masks, and medicines. A multi-faceted Sustainable Manufacturing Strategy (SMS) to accelerate and maximise potential industrial gains will make a major contribution to the national jobs and reconstruction plan.