The Jobs Queensland Board hosted an industry breakfast on 6 April in Townsville, with a focus on building relationships and creating a strong platform for Jobs Queensland’s place-based and future-focused work in the region.
The event was also a high-level introduction for attendees to Jobs Queensland, its work and projects, as well as an opportunity for Jobs Queensland Board Members to meet with local industry, peak bodies, employers, representatives from government, and community organisations.
The event was attended by around 50 stakeholders and representatives from Community organisations, Employers (building, construction, transport, hospitality, primary industries), Government (federal, state and local), Registered Training Organisations, Peak bodies and Unions, who actively engaged with both Jobs Queensland and each other to discuss workforce planning issues, now and into the future, for the Townsville region.
The course of the morning involved key speakers – Dr. Caroline Smith from the Jobs Queensland Secretariat and Cr. Jenny Hill, Mayor of the City of Townsville – as well as a significant component of the morning dedicated to a guided group discussion related to key industries and matching these with the local workforce.
During the course of the breakfast, attendees – seated at seven tables and chaperoned by a Jobs Queensland Board Member at each – were given questions that related to the local industry and workforce to drive discussion.
The key themes from the table discussions included:
- Obtain and analyse data to prove where the gaps are.
- The importance of the health, services and agricultural sectors.
- It is important to link opportunities for the local workforce; barriers include access to education and transport.
- Alignment between skills development system, industry, funding and support.
- The need to work together to solve employment issues.
- There are defence opportunities; when people leave defence, they tend to stay in Townsville.
- Increasing participation of women in the Townsville workforce is a big opportunity.
- Businesses need to be confident to employ/take on apprentices and trainees.
- Many are overqualified but underemployed.
- Need a group to lead the charge; they must be adequately resourced.