Swan Hill steps towards Economic Development Strategy

Swan Hill Rural City Council’s Economic Development Strategy has moved closer towards implementation with the announcement that Workforce Planning Australia has been awarded the contract to oversee the Swan Hill Region Workforce Development Strategy.

Council’s Economic Development Officer Nathan Keighran said the workforce development project aimed to address current and anticipated shortages in the Swan Hill region’s labour market and post-education services.

“We also anticipate the strategy will incorporate what future skill sets will be needed for major industries and potential developments in the region within the next 10 years.

“It is essential to ensure that if the region is to capitalize on future economic growth within the municipality, a clearer understanding of the education, workforce and skills needed to drive economic growth is required.”

The strategy will focus on four key economic sectors — health, manufacturing, agriculture and community services.

A Workforce Development Steering Committee consisting of key local industry, service providers, government agencies and business stakeholders will oversee the development and implementation of the strategy.

Steering Committee Chairman Councillor Michael Adamson said it was great to have committee representation from a range of service providers, government agencies and businesses across the Swan Hill region.

“This will ensure the Workforce Development Strategy truly reflects the current issues we are experiencing in our workforce training and education systems, and accurately identifies future opportunities and provides realistic regional solutions to help resolve our issues.”

Councillor Adamson said Workforce Planning Australia would bring a wealth of experience in the field of workforce planning and development, having recently completed a similar strategy for Hume Regional Development Australia.

Mr Keighran said the Economic Development Unit would contact businesses in the health, manufacturing, agriculture and community sectors to discuss the project.

It is anticipated that the Workforce Development Strategy will be completed by November.