Thursday, June 20, 2024

Jobs summit to shine spotlight on regional crisis

Federal Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories, Kristy McBain says the skills shortage affecting regional Australia will be a key focus of the Australian Government’s upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit.

Minister McBain is meeting with representatives from the Regional Development Australia (RDA) network and peak bodies from the local government sector throughout this week to talk through the challenges regional industries are facing in attracting and retaining skilled workers.

She says key issues and themes from these roundtables will inform discussions at the Government’s Jobs and Skills Summit, to be held at Parliament House in Canberra on 1–2 September.

Skills shortages, housing supply, and how to retain and attract diverse and talented workers to regional areas are just some of the topics being explored across the online roundtables, the Minister said.

“Each part of Australia has unique challenges, but there are some key themes that occur right across the board and it’s these issues that the Jobs and Skills Summit needs to address.”

“Living in a regional area, I see every day how staff shortages are affecting our communities.  Whether it’s hospitality businesses closing their doors early, huge waitlists to get a tradie on a work site, delays in planning and development approvals or hundreds of job advertisements going unanswered, our regional communities are struggling with the lack of skilled staff.

“I’m working hard to hear from as many organisations and stakeholders as possible. I’ve specifically sought information from young rural Australians because often we talk about barriers to employment and training without actually listening to the young people who are tackling these issues every day,” said Ms McBain.

The Jobs and Skills Summit will bring together Australians, including unions, employers, civil society and governments, to address our shared economic challenges.

The Summit will inform the Employment White Paper, which will help shape the future of Australia’s labour market. The wider community will be able to make submissions over the next 12 months. 

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