Effective workforce planning and development strategies are one of the six key priorities identified in the 2018/19 Regional Development Australia Orana Business Plan. Under this priority we research and assess workforce capacity and need. We facilitate, guide and lead projects which address these issues in order to drive investment and economic prosperity into our region.

Most recently in May of 2018 RDA Orana presented the Bracing for Change report.

The Orana Region Bracing for Change report represents a concerted effort by RDA Orana to gain a detailed understanding of the innovations, skills, labour and training needs required by businesses in order to secure the prosperity of the Orana region. The report builds on the existing body of rural and regional business knowledge and aims to develop and support the skills of the future- not just for employees but also for business owners.

Through focus groups, interviews and an online survey, more than 190 business owners and managers across 12 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the region took part in the project during 2017. Respondents included government-funded entitles and educational institutions.

The goal of the research, coupled with a desktop literature review, was to build a detailed understanding of the region’s export and innovation capacity of businesses, current and future workforce demand, capacity to meet that demand, skills gaps and shortages, now and in five years, strategies for recruitment and retention of works, training needs, impediments and work-readiness skills among job seekers.

The report makes recommendations in nine key areas including:

  • Workforce readiness
  • Awareness of trades
  • Family drift (out of the region)
  • Labour market expansion through skilled migration
  • Appreciating the role of migrants in rural communities
  • Issues holding regional communities back
  • Semi-skilled migration
  • The role of innovation in alleviating labour shortages
  • The role of entrepreneurship in regional areas

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