Mudgee participants sought for skills study


Mudgee participants sought for skills study

The Regional Skills Outlook research project being conducted by Regional Development Australia (RDA) Orana is gathering momentum, and Mudgee is the latest destination on the agenda. A team of researchers have already visited Wellington, Bourke, Brewarrina, Gilgandra and Narromine and will be in Mudgee on October 16 and 17.

Their aim is to meet with businesses to discuss their current and future needs.

RDA Orana executive officer Megan Dixon said the Regional Skills Outlook Unravelling the Skills of the Future for the Orana Region project includes developing a profile of each LGA including major employers and training providers in those areas.

“Employers are being targeted to seek information about their present and upcoming labour and skills requirements,” she said.

The Mid-Western and Dubbo Regional Local Government Areas were the only districts to experience growth in the past five years, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics as part of the 2016 Census. But many of the smaller centres are in decline, which is one of the drivers of the study.

“Although the Orana region has had a net gain of 2.6 per cent, this has been driven by the growth of the Mid-Western (7.9 per cent) and Dubbo (5.9 per cent) regions,” Mrs Dixon explained, adding that all other Local Government Areas (LGAs) have experienced population losses.

“Such major reduction has the potential to have a large impact on these areas and the surrounding townships, with the primary sectors of mining, agriculture and retail all expected to be heavily affected. We will do a full analysis as this will obviously have huge implications for the issues of skills and labour in the region.”

Data being gathered includes details of the industry sector, service provision, local workforce and training challenges.

RDA Orana Deputy Chair Brad Cam urged business owners in the Mudgee region to participate, stating that adding their voice to the study was important.

“It’s a way of businesses being able to engage and give information on where they are seeing the skills shortages.”

For full completion of the survey, participants will be given $30 or the opportunity to donate to Macquarie Homestay.

To participate, business owners are welcome to meet with the researchers at the Oriental Hotel, Mudgee at 5pm on Monday, October 16. To arrange an alternative time to discuss, please call Noni McCarthy on 0429 820 694.

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