Representing Australia in Singapore

The Hon Brendan O'Connor MP
Minister for Skills and Training

Australia affirmed its commitment to lifting labour standards and creating decent and secure jobs in the Asia-Pacific at an international labour meeting in Singapore, as Skills and Training Minister the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP met with labour leaders from across the region.

The International Labour Organization’s Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting is the first since the COVID-19 pandemic and comes at a challenging time for the region’s workers and enterprises.

Inflation, skills shortages and the need to strengthen labour standards are shared issues for ILO member nations across Asia, and the Pacific, including Australia.

Leading Australia’s tripartite delegation, which included representatives from the Australian Council of Trade Unions and the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Minister O’Connor discussed solutions for an inclusive, sustainable and resilient recovery from the pandemic during a panel session and during bilateral meetings with labour ministry counterparts.

Minister O’Connor congratulated the ILO’s recently appointed Director-General, Mr Gilbert Houngbo of Togo, the first African to hold the post.

Minister O’Connor also affirmed Australia’s commitment to the ILO and to tripartism. Australia strongly supports the ILO’s mandate of social justice and decent work for all and, as a founding member, has played an active role in the ILO’s operations since 1919.

Today it continues its active engagement as a proud member of the dynamic and diverse Asia-Pacific regional group.

Australia is a committed development partner of the ILO supporting programs to improve labour standards across the globe, with a particular emphasis on the Asia-Pacific region.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Skills and Training the Hon Brendan O’Connor MP

“The ILO meeting comes at a time when Australia is re-committing to tripartism – labour, industry and government must work together to overcome the significant challenges confronting us all.

“As part of the Asia-Pacific region Australia shares in its economic and societal challenges but is also committed to developing lasting solutions for inclusive, sustainable and resilient growth.

“Unions, industry and government met at Australia’s Jobs and Skills Summit in September to address shared economic challenges. Today, we are pursuing workplace relations reforms to support productivity and sustainable wage growth – particularly for workers in low-paid industries – and help reduce the gender pay gap.”

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