The Jobs and Skills Summit has been an important first step in our Government’s plan to address job and skill issues in regional Australia.
What is clear is that there are wide-ranging issues behind skills shortages in the regions from housing affordability and availability, liveability, lack of training facilities and pathways, construction costs and access to materials, lower wages in the regions, and competition for skilled workers across industries.
Many regions will see large investments in infrastructure through the renewable energy sector and regional stakeholders want to embrace this opportunity. But they also want to plan for the workforce and pressure on local services.
In the short term, important outcomes on strengthening the migration system will be welcome news to regional Australia which is struggling to attract and retain skilled workers.
In the longer term, increasing participation of underemployed groups, increasing the pipeline of workers in areas of shortages, and pathways from training to work will deliver on concerns held widely across our regions.
Addressing these challenges requires many people across sectors and across levels of government to work together. No one group can do it alone.