Taking Charge of an Electrified Future

A new report from the Carmichael Centre highlights the exciting economic and industrial opportunities facing Australia as a result of the accelerating global transition toward electric vehicles. The report, by economist Mark Dean, provides a roadmap for policy-makers for maximizing the domestic manufacturing and innovation spin-offs associated with growing personal, commercial, and public transit use of electric vehicles.

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Sharing the Benefits: The Case for Shorter Working Hours

Sharing the Benefits: The Case for Shorter Hours, a new research paper by Mark Dean and Lance Worrall, makes the argument for a statutory reduction in standard working hours and the working week. It does so primarily from the viewpoint that Australia should reinstate full employment as the superordinate economic goal of national policy.

Sharing the Benefits provides an historical survey of progress made in Australia towards shorter hours over the past century and a half, and the halting of that progress around 40 years ago (about the time of the 35-hour week campaign led by Laurie Carmichael), coinciding with the implicit abandonment of a national full employment objective. It surveys the current imbalance between the two poles of exploitation in the Australian labour market – overwork and unpaid overtime, versus underemployment and perpetual insecurity. It assesses the extent of these undesirable features and how Australia compares to other nations, finding that Australia scores high in the incidence of these negative characteristics in international perspective.

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Educating for Care: Meeting Skills Shortages in an Expanding ECEC Industry

This report from the Carmichael Centre argues that Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) services should be treated as a strategic industry of national importance – not just a ‘market’, and not just a ‘cost’ item on government budgets.

Building a stronger, more accessible, and high-quality ECEC system is not just a top-ranking social priority for several reasons:

  • The ECEC sector supports hundreds of thousands of jobs.
  • It directly creates billions of dollars of value-added in the Australian economy.
  • It generates further demand for other sectors – both upstream, in its own supply chain, and downstream in consumer goods and services industries that depend on the buying power of ECEC workers.
  • It facilitates work and production throughout the rest of Australia’s economy, by allowing parents to work – although that goal would be much better achieved if Australia had a more comprehensive, universal, and public ECEC system.
  • ECEC enhances the long-term potential of Australia’s economy, and all of society, by providing young children with high-quality education opportunities – that are proven to expand their lifetime learning, employment, and income outcomes, and enrich their families and communities.
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Rebuilding Vehicle Manufacture in Australia: Industrial Opportunities in an Electrified Future

This report illustrates how Australia can rebuild a vehicle manufacturing industry, on a sustainable ecological foundation, and meet our international environmental obligations.

The report covers several important related dimensions of the issue:

  • How an EV manufacturing strategy can add value to Australia’s existing exports of primary resources – connecting them to innovative, sustainable manufacturing industries;
  • Developing supply and value chain linkages to the global EV industry by increasing the capability for innovation and advanced manufacturing amongst small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • The central role of Australia’s education systems in delivering sustainable industry-focused training and skills development, to provide workers with career pathways shaped by lifelong access to education and learning;
  • How active government intervention can coordinate economic sectors in an innovative and strategically oriented industry policy driving sustainable economic and technological transformation; and
  • Understanding the importance of automotive manufacturing to our industrial future, its role in redesigning transport systems, investing in new technology and gearing production systems to meet social and environmental requirements.
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