The Palaszczuk Government has today welcomed a Fraser Coast research report that identifies employment patterns and outlines what skills will be in demand in the region in the future.
Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D’Ath said the Growing Opportunities in the Fraser Coast: Informing Regional Workforce Development report, led by Jobs Queensland, provided a roadmap to help maximise future economic opportunities in the Fraser Coast region.
“Developed through a partnership between Jobs Queensland, TAFE Queensland and CSIRO, the report demonstrates that the Fraser Coast has the potential to become a thriving service-oriented economy,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“This report highlights how businesses will need to embrace innovation and adapt to increasing customer expectations by developing high-end niche products and experiences to make the most of these opportunities.
“This includes further specialisation and investment in aged and disability care and associated health services, with spin-off growth in education, hospitality, retail, advanced manufacturing and research.”
Mrs D’Ath said this report also highlighted future economic opportunities to be gained from leveraging the region’s current competitive advantages including ecotourism, indigenous cultural tourism and experience-oriented tourism.
“Future employment growth is likely to be concentrated in the health, aged care and disability sectors due to our ageing population, a high number of disability funded recipients in the region, and the move to more individualised funding arrangements for aged and disability services,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“The impending roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will also boost demand for disability workers locally.
“The other skill sets in demand in the Fraser Coast area include teaching and training, decision–making and problem-solving, managing resources and people, communication, working with information, working with numbers, and services requiring interpersonal skills.”
Jobs Queensland Chair Rachel Hunter said the project brought together key Fraser Coast stakeholders to position the region for the future.
“We live in a world where change is constant and global megatrends and economic shifts are leading the demand for new skills and different employment opportunities around the State,” Ms Hunter said.
“Often the first step to creating change is an acknowledgement that change needs to occur – in the context of the Fraser Coast’s place-based approach, it is looking collaboratively and honestly at the present, with a shared local focus and responsibility for the future.
“Through their work and commitment to the Regional Workforce Development Plan for the Fraser Coast project, key stakeholders in the region are working to be better-prepared for the broader forces driving change in the region’s labour market and to come up with regional responses to these changes.”
In conjunction with further input from local leaders, businesses and industry, the research will inform the development of the Regional Workforce Development Plan for the Fraser Coast that is due in late 2017.
The health industry is one of the region’s rapidly growing sectors and Mrs D’Ath said forecasts had shown the Fraser Coast region’s population was expected to increase by 39.8% over the next 19 years.
She said TAFE was already catering for the need for skilled workers in the health industry in the Fraser Coast region.
“The new purpose-built Health Industry Training Centre located at the Hervey Bay campus addresses this demand, with the $250,000 facility granting our students access to industry standard training in both the general health care and allied health sectors,” Mrs D’Ath said.
“In the nine months since the facility opened, TAFE have begun offering courses like the Diploma of Nursing, Certificate III in Health Administration, Certificate III in Health Services Assistance and Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) for the first time ever in this region, and witnessed great results.”
TAFE Queensland East Coast Region Head of Nursing, Jo-Liz Prosser said nursing was one of the most popular courses offered at TAFE Queensland East Coast Region with enrolments in the Diploma of Nursing increasing by 44.7 per cent since 2013.
“This is the first year nursing has been delivered in Hervey Bay and the response has been phenomenal,” Ms Prosser said.
“Students who undertake the 18-month Diploma in Nursing are required to complete a minimum of 400 hours of practical placement, which guarantees their skills become second nature and they graduate job-ready.
“People who are confident, capable and caring are highly sought after, so if you’re someone who cares about people and who wants to make a difference in someone’s life, then a career in nursing is for you,” she said.
For more information on the Fraser Coast project visit the Jobs Queensland website at www.jobsqueensland.qld.gov.au/projects/growing-opportunities-in-the-fraser-coast.
Last updated 15 January 2018