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Defence still losing the battle for new talent.

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Joel Fitzgibbon MP

Shadow Defence Minister Member for Hunter

15 December 2006

Defence still losing the battle for new talent

The current skills crisis is hitting ADF recruitment and retention very hard.

This problem has grown over the years because of the Government’s decision to abolish Labor’s Ready Reserve.

Labor supports the positive initiatives announced by the Government today.

However there are a number of outstanding issues in ADF recruitment which have not been adequately dealt with including:

1. reviewing outdated conditions of service to ensure conditions remain competitive, flexible and family friendly; 2. ensuring a culture of bullying and harassment is eradicated completely; 3. development of a more innovative package of initiatives to address the

disincentive of high student education costs; 4. ensuring the ‘gap year’ program includes further incentives for maintaining a relationship with the ADF.

The Government has set itself ambitious recruitment and retention targets. But these will not be met until the Government seriously looks at improving overall terms of conditions for ADF personnel.

Contact: Joel Fitzgibbon 0418 293 372 Brendan Long 0408 421 447