Workforce Planning and Development

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Effective workforce planning and development strategies must be grounded in good research. Under this priority we research and assess workforce capacity and need. We then facilitate, guide and lead projects which address these issues in order to drive economic engines of the region. This may include strategies to: engage young people in the world of work, promote the region to attract skilled workers and overcome barriers to participation in the workforce.

Current projects include:

In May 2014 Urbis Pty Ltd was announced as the successful organisation to conduct research into the workforce capacity of the Orana region.

This research was undertaken in mid-late 2014 and included a comprehensive desktop analysis of available material, a wide-ranging survey of regional employers and additional qualitative research via employer forums and one-on-one interviews. This research was not only intended to uncover obstacles for the region, but also recommend solutions devised from conversation with employers, industry and governments.

The report was delivered in November 2014. Download the Workforce Capacity in the Orana Region report here.

This report now informs all of our workforce development activities and projects.

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The aim of the Regional Relocation project is to drive economic growth in the region by addressing existing and future skills gaps.

We have developed an engaging brand and website, to promote the benefits of living, working and investing in the Orana region, Love the Life We Live ( This has been supported by an assessment of current Local Government processes for greeting potential residents, and the information given to potential and new residents.

Being focused on workforce attraction, the website will be promoted to regional businesses as a tool for assisting them to recruit talent from outside the region where the skills gap cannot be filled by the local labour market. It is targeted at young professionals, families and regional returners, who may have grown up in the region and since moved away for other opportunities.

Regional Development Australia Orana is delivering this project in partnership with the Orana Economic Development Officer Network, Wellington Council and Mid-Western Regional Council.

There are a diverse variety of jobs available in the Orana but often students are not aware of the breadth of opportunities available, nor do they have the opportunity to experience this range first-hand.

Work Inspiration is an employer-led and long term strategy to build aspiration amongst students and long-term job seekers. In essence, Work Inspiration is a reimagining of the traditional work experience model. It is a 3-5 day immersive experience to show potential employees the range of roles available, pathways to work and basic workplace expectations.

Participants first learn about their personality type and workplace profile. They then enter a workplace and interview key people to not only learn about the roles available, but what pathways can get them there. Participants then present their findings back to the workplace, an activity that increases their confidence and presentation skills, with the added benefit of boosting employee engagement and satisfaction.

The first Work Inspiration pilots in the Orana region ran in 2015. We intend to extend the program across the region over time.

Regional Development Australia Orana launched in May 2018 a new report that signals a critical labour shortage in the region.

Over the next 5 years, more than 15,000 workers will be needed to enable key regional projects (totalling approximately $7.9 B) to be undertaken.

The RDA Report – Bracing for Change – looked at the innovation, skills, labour and training needs of the region.

The data for the new report was collected through focus groups, interviews and an online survey of more than 190 business owners and managers across 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the region.

The region is experiencing significant shortages in trades areas and hospitality, as well as secondary teaching, aged care and other health service. The mining industry is also putting a strain on other businesses competing for staff and on community resources in some parts of the region.

The Orana region stretches across the Central West and Western region of NSW. The Orana, is the largest and most diverse region in the State, covering an area of 25% of NSW.

A copy of the Executive Summary and 9 position papers can be viewed by clicking on the following links

Bracing for Change - Executive Summary

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 1 - Workforce Readiness

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 2 - Awareness of Trades

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 3 - Family Drift  

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 4 - Skilled Migration  

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 5 - Appreciating Migrants  

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 6 - What's Holding Us Back  

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 7 - Semi-Skilled Labour

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 8 - Innovation  

Bracing for Change - Position Paper 9 - Position Paper 9 - Entrepreneurship