Local industry leaders, employers and workers have come together with the Andrews Labor Government in the Wimmera Southern Mallee region today to find solutions to attracting, retaining and training local workers.
Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes, Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Martin Pakula and Parliamentary Secretary for Regional Victoria Danielle Green were in Horsham listening to the community on how to tackle job vacancies and skills gaps across the region.
The Wimmera Southern Mallee region faces challenges in filling positions, particularly in the health, education, early years, aged care and service support industries. The region is also experiencing population decline, with residents leaving the region to train, upskill and improve their qualifications.
The focused workshop, organised by the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership, was a chance to explore this issue in detail and for the community to share their experiences directly with government, after the Partnership identified it as a community priority.
This forum is the second in a series of events that will be held with every Regional Partnership around the state.
By focusing on a priority issue, these events will allow local people to have productive discussions with relevant ministers, working towards real solutions.
The Wimmera Southern Mallee Partnership is one of nine such bodies across Victoria which were established by the Labor Government in 2016. Over the past three years, Regional Partnerships have heard from thousands of community members and organisations, addressing issues relevant to each region.
Partnerships are made up of passionate volunteers committed to bringing positive change to their country communities, making sure government is hearing directly from communities about local issues and solutions.
The Labor Government has delivered on key priorities identified by the Wimmera Southern Mallee Partnership – including the BY FIVE initiative which supports children and families in their transition to primary school across the region and which has been recognised with a prestigious Victorian Government Early Years Award.
As stated by Minister for Regional Development Jaclyn Symes
“We’re getting government ministers together across regional Victoria to hear from communities about important issues – in Wimmera Southern Mallee, we’re tackling the region’s issues with workforce attraction.”
“I’m looking forward to listening to community members and employers on how we can tackle job vacancies and skills gaps, and make sure that people in the region have the chance to get the training they need for a good job, close to home.”
As noted by David Jochinke, Chair of the Wimmera Southern Mallee Regional Partnership
“The region is primed to work together on a coordinated approach to develop locally appropriate strategies to enable organisations, businesses and agencies to ‘fill and skill’ the workforce shortages across Wimmera Southern Mallee.”