The Canberra Times

Teal independents fear the jobs and skills summit is being railroaded into a narrow, union-led debate about wages bargaining, which is overshadowing other possible solutions to the problems facing businesses and workers.

North Sydney MP Kylea Tink was concerned about the focus on bargaining, which she argued wasn't the biggest problem which needed to be fixed.

"My key message around this is this problem is much more challenging than one single solution - and bargaining is not going to solve it," she said.

She said the debate needed to encompass everything from housing affordability, to luring workers to Australia and removing barriers which prevented highly-qualified migrants from working in their chosen profession after they arrived.

Ms Tink said the federal government must steer a national approach to tackling workforce shortages, as she expressed alarm at a Victorian government plan to pay the university fees of aspiring nurses and midwives to help ease workforce pressures in its state's health system.

"I think that's really counterproductive to a healthy national future and to me that reflects the worst of the downside of our federated model," she said

"You know, we can't have the states competing against each other for talent and competency. We need to address this as a nation.

"We need federal leadership when it comes to the tertiary structure, and having states move ahead of that federal leadership creates a problem for us as a nation."

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