Regional Workforce Strategy – A collaborative initiative for the Capricorn Region

A draft framework to progress the adoption of a Regional Workforce Strategy has been distributed to  key partners and associated groups as a result of last week’s ‘Developing a Regional Workforce Forum”.

Hosted by Capricorn Enterprise, the breakfast forum secured interest from a broad range of business and industry representatives as well as Government (State and Federal) representatives, RTO’s, Industry Associations, CQUni TAFE.

Confronted with an anticipated shortfall of up to 3000 skilled workers to support the development of in excess on $2.5 Billion in projects across the local area commencing early 2019, the time is ripe to secure broad spectrum support of the immediate region to capitalise on the opportunities that these projects will provide.

Regional Economic Development Manager with Capricorn Enterprise, Neil Lethlean, states “Last week’s Forum was convened to discuss the potential impacts of the number of current and imminent major projects across the region.  Issues covered including sourcing workers both for the projects and any subsequent local vacancies, managing accommodation shortages (which are already apparent) and identifying infrastructure needs that will become apparent as the large amount of industrial and civil construction commences.”

Mr Lethlean added “Whilst these projects will generate opportunities for both skilled and unskilled workers, we need to market the lifestyle benefits of our region to limit the risk of a fly-in-fly-out workforce being required!”

A strategy meeting followed the Forum involving both presenters and industry leaders including:

  • Dennis Bryant, Regional Manager, Master Builders Qld
  • Bruce Fyfe, Industry Engagement Manager, Construction Skills Qld
  • Deb Mead, Regional Manager, AusIndustry
  • Ben Hughes, EconomX
  • Peter McDuff, Regional Director, Central Queensland Region, DESB&T
  • Peter Heilbuth, Pro-Vice-Chancellor VET Operations and Growth, CQUniversity
  • James Scotland, AIGroup.

The outcomes of the meeting will be taken forward early in the new year.  A draft strategic framework has been developed (by the Capricornia Chamber of Commerce, a member of the group) to help inform decisions about roles and responsibilities.

A collective approach to both Rockhampton Regional and Livingstone Shire Councils will be made.  A key first step is to raise awareness both in the business and broader community about the scale of these projects and the potential opportunities they offer.  Maximising local content will be a key objective.

Further inquiry or comment to Neil Lethlean.

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