Spotlight on regional Australia ahead of Jobs and Skills Summit

Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Kristy McBain is making sure the skills shortage affecting regional Australia is a key focus of the Australian Government’s upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit.

Minister McBain is meeting with representatives from the Regional Development Australia (RDA) network and peak bodies from the local government sector throughout this week to talk through the challenges regional industries are facing in attracting and retaining skilled workers.

Key issues and themes from these roundtables will inform discussions at the Albanese Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit, to be held at Parliament House in Canberra on 1–2 September.

Skills shortages, housing supply, and how to retain and attract diverse and talented workers to regional areas are just some of the topics being explored across the online roundtables.

Minister McBain has also met with this year’s Rural Youth Ambassadors and spoke about barriers and opportunities in ensuring young people have the skills required to fill important roles in our regional communities both now and into the future.  

The Jobs and Skills Summit will bring together Australians, including unions, employers, civil society and governments, to address our shared economic challenges.

The Summit will inform the Employment White Paper, which will help shape the future of Australia’s labour market. The wider community will be able to make submissions over the next 12 months. 

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Quotes attributable to Regional Development, Local Government and Territories Minister, the Hon Kristy McBain MP:

“The Jobs and Skills Summit is about addressing significant staff shortages and building better-trained, more productive workforces.

“Each part of Australia has unique challenges, but there are some key themes that occur right across the board and it’s these issues that the Jobs and Skills Summit needs to address.

“Living in a regional area, I see every day how staff shortages are affecting our communities.  Whether it’s hospitality businesses closing their doors early, huge waitlists to get a tradie on a work site, delays in planning and development approvals or hundreds of job advertisements going unanswered, our regional communities are struggling with the lack of skilled staff.

“I’m working hard to hear from as many organisations and stakeholders as possible. I’ve specifically sought information from young rural Australians because often we talk about barriers to employment and training without actually listening to the young people who are tackling these issues every day.

“Regional and rural young people have fantastic ideas and they’re extremely innovative so I’m keen to tap into their collective knowledge and experience and give them a clear opportunity to contribute to the Jobs and Skills Summit.

“These roundtable discussions are an important part of making sure the voices of regional and rural communities and the local government sector are heard at the Summit.”