Skills and Workforce Participation Minister Bronwyn Pike today announced a $150,000 project to address shortfalls in skills and workforce development in the Mildura district.
Ms Pike said as the region emerged from the global economic downturn, local industry was faced with the challenges of attracting and retaining skilled labour.
“To counteract this, the Brumby Labor Government funded the Mildura Industry Workforce Development Strategy (MIWDS) to address labour supply and workforce development needs across the region,” Ms Pike said.
“By addressing the issues, our government is ensuring people in regional Victoria can identify employment opportunities and local industry has skilled staff to sustain economic growth.”
Ms Pike said the MIWDS was made up of representatives from leading local employers, industry associations, local governments and government agencies.
“The strategy is called ‘Going Forward’, and is focused on the Mildura, Swan Hill and Murray Darling regions and the major regional industries associated with citrus, grape and olive growing,” she said.
“The strategy is a plan of action to support economic growth which identifies common challenges across industries.”
Launching the strategy “Going Forward” today in Mildura, Member for Northern Victoria Region, Candy Broad said common challenges included skill shortages, a lack of young starters, difficulty in retaining skilled labour and a lack of development programs and resources.
“Broader issues also emerged about the relevance and availability of local training and the need to improve links between education, training and industry,” Ms Broad said.
“The MIWDS steering group will meet the challenges by establishing local industry workforce groups which will develop employment initiatives to address skills shortages.”
The Brumby Labor Government’s $150,000 investment will enable the IWDS team to:
- Promote local career opportunities;
- Increase the supply of labour by helping people who have barriers to employment;
- Encourage the adoption of a range of flexible work practices to make employment in the region more attractive to families;
- Give industry a greater say in training; and
- Support the development of a small business plan.