BUSY is doing more to develop skills and career pathways in some of the hardest to reach places of Australia. With a long history of supporting remote and regional communities, we’re on the ground and breaking down many of the unique barriers these communities often face, working with industry and business to support skills and employment growth.
Challenges that are unique to regional and remote communities include (but are not limited to):
- Shutting down of industries (e.g. manufacturing industries)
- Lack of affordable housing for workers
- The shutting down of international borders and a diminished labour pool which is affecting productivity
- A ‘brain-drain’ phenomena caused by young people moving to major cities to study and then not returning
According to the latest report from NCVER, only 14% of all Australian apprentices and trainees in training were in rural, regional, and remote communities. BUSY At Work, an Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider, are currently supporting 18% of their caseload of apprentices and trainees who live in regional, rural or remote communities.
Dr Kim Houghton, chief economist at the Regional Australia Institute and lead author of Regional Australia Institute’s job vacancy report, said: “The overall driver of low unemployment numbers and the rapid increase in job advertising is because the total size of the employment pool has been so diminished by the closing of international borders.”
The report showed a variation across the regions, with some still at 7-8% unemployment and others under 2%.
“Our regions are busting to grow, but there’s a constraint on bodies and there’s also a constraint on housing,” Houghton said.
There is enormous potential for industry growth in rural and remote communities, particularly with the growth of the renewable energy sector, trades and construction, the mining industry, and agriculture, as well as health and community services where regions are experiencing a real shortage of skills. BUSY At Work will continue to work with industry, employers, and key community figures in remote and rural regions to develop a skilled labour force. Our focus will be to continue supporting potential labour markets that include women entering non-traditional trades or re-entering the workforce after raising children, older workers to re-enter or remain in the workforce, and further encouraging youth to remain in regional communities with demographically relevant vocational opportunities through apprenticeships and traineeships.