Since mid-2018, there have been growing signs of worker shortages in many parts of regional Australia. While there are some variations in the types of skills needed, competition between regions for workers in many professional and trade fields is increasing.
However, building from the work of the 2018 Shared Inquiry, the results have shown how different regional communities are adapting and changing to manage their workforce challenges.
Grassroots initiatives have shown to be very effective at improving school completion rates, helping young people train on the job and stay in the region, as well as successfully linking workers to employers.
In 2019, the RAI’s Intergovernmental Shared Inquiry will look at local and regional responses to workforce challenges. These include:
- Technology change and the impact it has on the size of the regional workforce, as well as the changing skills needed to meet the workforce demand.
- An examination of initiatives in which different regional communities are taking to improve the ‘pathway into work’ for school leavers, and job seekers.
- Better approaches for delivering education and training in ‘thin’ markets.
- An analysis of the labour market to explore why participation rate and ‘employment culture’ varies in different regional areas.
- A review of the expectations of regional job creation through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and the actions regions are taking to ensure there is a capable workforce available.
- An investigation of the healthcare and social assistance industry as the biggest source of job demand for regions in the future. This Inquiry will look at the mix of the public and private sector, high and low skill jobs in different places, as well as gaining an understanding of future demands in places of different socioeconomic characteristics.
Our research will not duplicate workforce development planning that is currently underway in many sectors but will instead focus of actions that are being taken to improve outcomes.