Growth prospects for regional Australia – RAI reveals hotspots
The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has unveiled the ‘hotspots’ for four key industries that can help drive the economic future of regional Australia – following the release of its national Regional Growth Prospects Report.
RAI co-CEO Liz Ritchie says the new report pinpoints regions across the country where jobs in tourism, food processing, advanced manufacturing and creative industries really matter for local employment, and where policy makers and regional leaders should focus investment.
“By analysing jobs numbers, we can see where these ‘specialised’ regions are located – we can also see which ones are performing above national and industry trends, and which are not,” Liz Ritchie said.
“Specialised regions in this report are the places where there is a high proportion of local jobs in the industry, compared to the national average for a place of that size.
“OECD experience shows that business-led specialisation approaches are effective in supporting regions to maintain their competitiveness in national and global contexts,” Ms Ritchie said.
The report has identified Plantagenet (WA), Indigo (VIC), Woodanilling (WA) and Barossa (SA) as the most specialised areas for food processing employment in regional Australia. However, there are also 154 other regional LGAs where jobs in this industry are important.
“This report highlights that even though a region may be ‘specialised’, local factors play a significant role in either driving or constraining growth potential,” Liz Ritchie said.
RAI co-CEO Dr Kim Houghton says the new research will enable policy makers and regional stakeholders to prioritise investment opportunities and help energise local economies in a more strategic way.
“We are recommending that policy makers tailor their approach in local regions – by supporting those that are performing above trends, and removing barriers for those that aren’t,” Dr Houghton said.
“We’re also encouraging regional leaders to take a look at how their region is tracking, then kick start conversations about what plans are needed for the future,” Dr Houghton said.
Already, the latest government job vacancy figures show there are more than 43,000 positions needing to be filled across regional Australia.
“If growth prospects are realised, workforce demand will increase. We are encouraging regions identified in this report to assess their local workforce and skills needed to ensure potential new jobs can be filled.
“Implementing regional learning systems or regional migration strategies as outlined in our Future of Regional Jobs Report released in April this year, are two examples of ways communities can work with government to meet the demand,” Dr Houghton concluded.
Regional Growth Prospects was launched today at the RAI’s Regions Rising WA event in Perth, by Western Australia Minister for Regional Development, The Hon. Alannah MacTiernan.
This version of the report includes the full list of all specialised Local Government Areas.
The MOST specialised areas for food processing employment are:
158 regional LGAs specialised in Food Processing
The MOST specialised areas for advanced manufacturing employment are:
39 Regional LGAs specialised in Advanced Manufacturing
The MOST specialised areas for creative industries employment are:
4 Regional LGAs specialised in Creative Industries
The MOST specialised areas for tourism employment are:
162 Regional LGAs specialised in Tourism
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