Addressing skill shortages

Posted on: June 20th, 2019 by
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NEW SKILLS: Holden senior HR manager Jamie Getgood (left), Porthaul Forestry’s James Williamson, AFPA SA state manager Clare Scriven, City of Mount Gambier CEO Mark McShane, Department of State Development automotive transitions team’s Alan Sibbons and RDA Limestone Coast chair Richard Vickery at the recent meeting.The forestry industry across the Green Triangle Regionhas expanded rapidly over the last fiveyears with an estimated doubling of harvest operations during that time. It is anticipated this expansion will continue through until 2025.
Nanjing Night Net

With the forestry and transport sectors employing more than 18,000 people and generating a conservative figure of $790 million in economic activity, they are significant contributors to the regions economy and it is estimated there will be an additional 550 jobs created across these two sectors by the end of 2016.

In June 2015, Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast Inc successfully received funding from the Department of State Development’s Skills for Jobs in Regions Strategic Employment Fund, to deliver a Forest Industry Employment Project (FIEP).

This project provides a co-contribution subsidy for employers to up-skill truck drivers and harvester operators and is just one of the initiatives being instigated to address known skills shortages in the forestry industry due to this rapid expansion and an ageing workforce.

The FIEP is driven by a Steering Committee that includes experienced industry representatives that have a vast knowledge of the issues and opportunities.

In addition to this work around upskilling, the committee are also conscious of the opportunity to attract workers from the automotive sector and other allied industries, that are currently experiencing downsizing, particularly where there are transferable skill sets.

Local forest industry employers and other regional stakeholders recently participated in an information evening organised by the SA Branch of the Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA-SA) with representatives from Holden and the State Government’s Automotive Transitions Team.

The Limestone Coast region is a great place to raise a family with low cost living,affordable, quality housing for purchase or rent,endless sporting and recreational activities,mild climates,extensive shopping facilitiesand plentiful beaches and natural assets.

RDALC, the FIEP Steering Committeeand Local and State Government representatives are collaboratively working to ensure this region is effectively represented as a great place to live and work at an upcoming Holden expo in Adelaide.

They are also developing initiatives to ensure we have processes in place to link suitably skilled workers with identified job opportunities.

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