The Member for Western Victoria, Gayle Tierney today announced a $150,000 project to address shortfalls in skills and workforce development in the Great South Coast region.
Ms Tierney said as the region emerged from the global economic downturn, local industry was faced with the challenges of attracting and retaining skilled labour.
“To counteract this, the Brumby Labor Government has funded the Great South Coast Industry Workforce Development Strategy team (IWDS) to investigate and address the labour supply and workforce development needs across the region,” Ms Tierney said
“By addressing these issues, our government is ensuring people in regional Victoria can identify employment opportunities and local industry has skilled staff to sustain economic growth.”
“The strategy is called Going Forward and is focused on industries in the Great South Coast region associated with the dairy, timber, transport and logistics and food processing industries.
“The strategy is a plan of action to support economic growth which identifies common challenges across industries.”
Ms Tierney said common challenges included skill shortages, a lack of young starters, difficulty in retaining skilled labour and a lack of development programs and resources.
“Broader issues also emerged about the relevance and availability of local training and the need to improve links between education, training and industry,” Ms Tierney said.
“The Great South Coast IWDS steering group will meet the challenges by establishing local industry workforce groups which will develop employment initiatives to address skills shortages.”
The Brumby Labor Government’s $150,000 investment will enable the IWDS team to:
• Promote local career opportunities;
• Increase the supply of labour by helping people who have barriers to employment;
• Encourage the adoption of a range of flexible work practices to make employment in the region more attractive to families;
• Give industry a greater say in training; and
• Support the development of a small business plan.
Ms Tierney said workforce strategies were also underway in the Mildura, Ballarat, North East and Eastern Gippsland regions funded under the $1.8 million Industry Workforce Development Strategies initiative.
“This characterises the Victorian Government’s active support for regional industry development and represents a major commitment to sustained economic growth,” Ms Tierney said.