The state of the Sunshine Coast’s economy has sparked confidence in future opportunities for employment and apprenticeships in Queensland.
Business sentiment was a particular highlight identified by Mayor Mark Jamieson in his State of the Region speech on December 18.
“The latest Sunshine Coast Business Survey, released in November, states that business confidence has vastly improved since the previous survey, due to economic conditions,” he said.
In 2013, the Sunshine Coast saw the launch of the Regional Economic Development Strategy, which Mr Jamieson called a ‘major economic highlight’ for the year.
“This year’s launch of the Regional Economic Development Strategy for the next 20 years has energised and focused the region economically like never before,” he said.
The strategy provides a blueprint for sustainable economic growth in the Sunshine Coast and surrounding regions.
Three of the major goals outlined by the plan include tripling the economy to $33 billion, creating 100,000 new jobs and achieving average household incomes above the Queensland median.
Launched this year, the strategy aims to achieve these goals by 2033.
“The Strategy blueprint is not owned by council – it’s owned by the community in partnership with business and industry, as it was the collaboration of the whole community which brought it together,” Mr Jamieson said.
Maintaining the ideal balance between economic, environmental and community initiatives is another area in which Mr Jamieson believes the Sunshine Coast has excelled.
“I think we have got that balance right, because we know that a healthy economy supports a healthy environment and a harmonious community,” he said.
Employment, training and apprenticeship opportunities are all expected to experience a boost as the Regional Economic Development Strategy begins ramping up in the new year.
Investment in high-value industries – such as health and well-being, education and research, professional services, tourism, agribusiness and aviation, among others – should continue to increase business confidence.
Growing business sentiment will encourage employers to broaden recruitment options as organisations expand.
The high-value industries in particular will provide increased opportunities for higher-paying, enduring employment off the back of previously announced regional developments.
These major projects include the Bruce Highway upgrade, the Sunshine Coast Airport expansion and development of the Maroochydore City Centre.
Construction on these important activities will create long-term employment options along with increased opportunities for apprenticeships in Sunshine Coast areas.
“We have a journey ahead of us to achieve these things, but I believe we are well on our way,” Mr Jamieson said.