Jabs and Jobs Our Highest Priorities, says Business Chamber

Jabs and Jobs Our Highest Priorities, says Business Chamber

Canberra Business Chamber has welcomed the Chief Minister’s recognition that winning the Covid vaccination race is the highest priority for the ACT in today’s State of the Territory address.

The Chamber, along with other industry groups and business leaders, has been calling for business to promote vaccination and support employee awareness of, and access, to the vaccine.

Chamber CEO Graham Catt says “the business community is directly impacted by snap lockdowns and border closures. We are dealing right now with the devasting impact they are having on the ACT’s tourism, accommodation, and hospitality sectors.”

“Our city, our community and our businesses face being shut down if we have even a single case in the ACT. Leadership and support for employees getting their jab has to be our highest priority.”

The Chamber says Canberra businesses have been supporting their people by making it clear that booking and attending a COVID vaccination appointment is a priority that comes before other work, and providing information on how to do so.

“Business owners know that there can be side effects and are supporting staff with time off when it is needed,” says Mr Catt. “Every business and each employee’s circumstances are different, and the last thing businesses need right now are extra costs through regulation.”

“Business is ready to help win the vaccination race,” said Mr Catt. “We look forward to working with the ACT Government to make snap lockdowns and border closures a thing of the past.”

The Chamber also says that a recent poll of businesses showed that the skills and labour shortage in the Territory is critical and having a detrimental impact.

The good news for ACT jobseekers is that 70% of businesses survey are, or are planning to, hire. But bad news for the ACT is that 85% of them are finding it difficult to find the staff they need,” Mr Catt said. “And half of them said it was having a significant negative impact on their business.”

The Chamber’s recent budget submission called for the ACT Government to fund critical sector research and deliver a detailed skills and workforce strategy to support business growth in the capital.

“Along with a clear strategy that addresses our skill and labour challenges, we think it’s also the right time to consider how Canberra’s value proposition is marketed nationally and internationally.

“As the Chief Minister pointed out today, we urgently need a new narrative around the exceptional opportunities Canberra offers as a place to live, work and build a rewarding career.”