Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers (RDANR) and Regional Development Australia Mid North Coast (RDAMNC) have launched their joint discussion paper, survey and call for submissions to help inform the North Coast Employment Strategy 2020-2025.
The project is a collaboration between the two organisations and aims to be a catalyst for change and the beginnings of a new approach to solving regional employment issues.
“Impact of bushfires and Covid-19 during 2019/20 have highlighted the need to work together at a regional level to address the challenges impacting both businesses and jobseekers.” said Tim Williamson, Director of RDANR.
RDA Northern Rivers has recently modelled the impact of Covid-19 on the local economy. The results indicate that thousands of Northern Rivers workers could be unemployed due to the coronavirus shutdown, and the crisis will have an impact on businesses and the economy for years to come.
Whilst not the initial motivation for the project, the timing and need for discussions around how employment programmes and initiatives are approached and delivered has reinforced the importance of this joint project.
“Our intention is to stimulate a robust conversation about employment in the regions and to use this project as a tool to better drive initiatives,” said Kerry Grace, CEO of RDAMNC.
The Grattan Institute also researched the impact that the current crisis will have on young people, women and those on lower incomes as they are “likely to work in occupations and industries most affected by the shutdowns and spatial distancing measures imposed to slow the spread of the virus.”
“Key organisations, jobseekers, long-term unemployed, carers need to be at the centre of any proposed solutions. Currently, initiatives are too often replicated and repeated over time, as funding expires for one focus group and ultimately replaced to be directed towards another.” explains Ms Grace
Rather than writing this strategy for the region, RDAMNC and RDANR are pursuing a collaborative approach to this project and engaging with all key stakeholders in the region. Research and information are being gathered via a discussion paper, online survey and consultation via online submissions.
On completion of this consultation process, information will be compiled to help inform the North Coast Employment Strategy. This document will then be workshopped by the two RDAs with key influencing government agencies with the aim of laying the foundations for programs that align with the recommendations of the strategy.
The Regional Australia Institute has also partnered with the program and will contribute to the final document and advocacy.
The project timeframe includes distribution of the discussion paper to North Coast stakeholders, the online survey now open for submissions and written feedback is also invited. Submissions will close on 12 May 2020 and the release of the North Coast Employment Strategy is scheduled for 23 June 2020.
How can you get involved?
- Complete the online survey – HERE (closes 12 May 2020)
- Provide a written response via email or post to PO Box 146 Lismore NSW 2480
Download the Discussion Paper and Media Release