Regional Australia in focus at Jobs and Skills Summit

The Jobs and Skills Summit has been an important first step in our Government’s plan to address key job and skill issues in regional Australia.

What is clear is that there are wide-ranging issues that sit 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, key outcomes on strengthening the migration system will be welcome news to regional Australians, who are struggling to attract and retain skilled workers.

In the longer term, increasing participation of underemployed groups, increasing the pipelines of workers in key areas of shortages, and pathways from training to work will deliver on concerns held widely across our regions.

Addressing these challenges requires many actors across sectors and across levels of government, to work together. No one group can do it alone.

In the lead up to the Jobs and Skills Summit, we held roundtables with stakeholders from across industry, local government, peak groups, rural youth, research and community groups from regional Australia, to hear the issues first hand.

We will now get to work on our Employment White paper that will plot a path for our Government to reduce unemployment and underemployment and keep them low.

We will continue to listen to the concerns of Regional Australia and implement solutions that allow our regions to grow.