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The North Coast NSW Employment Strategy and Action Plan was launched simultaneously in the Northern Rivers and Mid North Coast by the federal members of parliament for each region, the Hon Kevin Hogan, MP, Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister and member for Page (Northern Rivers) and Mr Pat Conaghan member for Cowper (Mid North Coast) on Wednesday 29 July 2020.

Kevin Hogan and Tim Williamson at the North Coast NSW Employment Strategy and Action Plan launch

The Hon Kevin Hogan and Tim Williamson at the North Coast NSW Employment Strategy and Action Plan launch

This important strategy sets out to guide systemic change within the North Coast ’employment ecosystem’ that will support industry-led initiatives to build a vibrant future employment marketplace.

Our Director of Regional Development, Tim Williamson highlighted the key areas we are concentrating on in looking to the future.

“Number one is putting the employers squarely in the centre of the strategy, so we having a full through strategy will work in concert with the typical jobseeker programs and strategies across the region.

“The second one is looking at the complex nature of the system and seeing if we can work through at the regional and local level to come up with innovative strategies to make it a bit easier for everybody involved to find a job or make a job available.

“The third area we are looking at is particularly how we can support those hard to employ people and make sure the supporting systems are there doing the right thing and the general infrastructure to enable the whole thing, from the training and education pathways through to ensuring that there’s access to jobs by job seekers no matter where they are.”

An important priority in trying to understand what the future of work will look like is the impace COVID has had on businesses.

Mr Williamson said “We need to understand what those impacts are, how we can assist employers and jobseekers to start creating jobs and looking for where there are gaps. Maybe there are new industries and jobs we can attract to the region.”

“It is going to be a different environment that employers and jobseekers will be moving into. The future is uncertain and we need to make sure that we can put the region ahead of the curve and hopefully become a region of choice for employers and new businesses to invest in.

“The Federal government has put a lot of effort into rolling out programs that are doing some really good work in that space. We want to make sure we can attract as much of that funding and investment that’s going into programs and infrastructure for our region.”

The Hon Kevin Hogan recognised the gaps in the current system, with many employers finding it hard to to find job-ready people while jobseekers are struggling to find suitable or any employment at all.

“What this is about is employers doing their strategies, working out who and what they need into the future, because things change over time, and for employees it’s about finding pathways to employment, doing the right training, getting the right certificates doing the right study, getting the right support for the jobs they want,” he said

“It’s a holistic plan.. a great initiative from the RDA in our area and very very relevant post COVID”

The North Coast NSW Employment Strategy and Action Plan can be downloaded here

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