Growing our Regional Workforce Summary Paper

Why are there more jobs than workers across regional South Australia? Some would say that’s a good problem to have, but for those businesses who have given up trying to employ, or reduced their opening hours or number of shifts, it’s a critical issue. Not just for seasonal but also for ongoing regional jobs.

It’s not new.  The impact of covid reducing the availability of international and migrant workers has brought this issue to the fore, and now we can’t ignore it.  Suddenly there is strong awareness and a will to address it.  We must not waste this opportunity.

Economic growth across regional South Australia is currently and will into the future be impacted if there is not an available and skilled workforce.

Regional Development Australia’s (RDA) eight South Australian branches have collaborated to commission a research paper that examines the complex, interconnected and key barriers that are inhibiting the availability of an available and skilled workforce for regional South Australia. It is a comprehensive review and documentation of existing research, case studies and stakeholder interviews. 

Launched at the RDA Growing our Regional Workforce Summit on June 3rd the research paper also sets out a practical and extensive list of recommendations to address the barriers raised.

In addition to the full research paper a summary document has been prepared to provide an overview of the findings, and to provide a list of the Top 5 Key Recommendations. 

They are:

  1. Increased housing supply to address the shortage of available accommodation
  2. Employment readiness pathways
  3. Regionally based workforce resources
  4. Increased business HR capacity & capability, including Employer of Choice programs
  5. Migration program reform

“The RDA’s across South Australia are taking a leadership role to find and implement solutions to be delivered by both public and private stakeholders as a collaborative effort” said the Executive Chair, Hon. Rob Kerin.

The RDA South Australian network are now working closely with the Department of Primary Industries and Regions SA and the Department of Innovation & Skills as well as across governmental relevant stakeholders, local government and key industry and educational stakeholders to address the recommendations and deliver outcomes.

Hon. Rob Kerin

Executive Chair 

Regional Development South Australia

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