Navigating the Cradle Coast Pathfinder
The Pathfinder project’s purpose is to help pave the way for a Futures Plan to be prepared by the CCA. The Futures Plan will guide investments in economic development activity in the region over the next five years.
The Cradle Coast is a diverse and spectacular part of North West Tasmania and includes King Island. This region contributes 21 percent of Tasmania’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and boasts several competitive advantages.
Looking more broadly, west and north-west Tasmania is expected to see an increase of more than 3,800 jobs by 2022. To capitalise on this growth, the Cradle Coast region will need to work to its competitive strengths, target priority constraints and work collectively with all stakeholders.
The RAI’s General Manager of Policy and Research, Dr Kim Houghton, led several team trips across the region, meeting regional leaders from government, education, industry and enterprise. Meetings and workshops were held to hear firsthand, and determine, regional priorities that were ready to be actioned collectively.
“The Cradle Coast leaders showed a real willingness to get on with a relatively short list of clear, key actions which were agreed to be foundational to the Futures Plan. What our Pathfinder process has done is provided a focus of what to act on now, some ways to go about it and, most importantly, why,” Dr Houghton said.
Focusing on the outcome of ‘more jobs and better jobs’, the Pathfinder process identified some underlying factors which need to be addressed for the longer term development of the region. Developing, through education and training, and retaining locals for the available jobs is a fundamental aspect of Cradle Coast’s future.
The Cradle Coast region has real strengths in its traditional specialisations of agriculture and manufacturing, more significant because of the disruption to these industries locally in recent years and the need to adapt and transition.
Growth in the education sector can lead to increasing participation and completion rates as well as producing ‘employment ready’ workers for the local jobs.
Forestry is rebounding from a turbulent period in Tasmania and sustainable plantation operations are emerging, as are opportunities in renewable energy.
Health services are predicted to be the fastest growing sector across the region, requiring a workforce with a range of skills.
The CCA’s Manager of Regional Development, Peter Murden, acknowledges the need for action is clear to realise the value of the Pathfinder process and carry the momentum from within the community.
If you think your region could benefit from working with the RAI through its Pathfinder program, or you just need more information, please get in contact with us via email [email protected]
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