What skills do your business or organisation need now and what are you going to need to operate into the future? These were a couple of the questions posed to industry representatives at the first reference group meeting last week.

What skills are needed now? is reasonably easy to determine. These are ones that allow your business to function with the skilled workforce that you already have. As an example, in a tourism business, an owner could require staff with skills in customer service, cultural awareness of attractions that are authentic and unique to the area, sustainable practices, technology and digital skills. These skills can be currently delivered from a range of training providers, either as accredited training (i.e. receiving a qualification or attaining an individual competency pass) or through non-accredited training (information provision or product training). Part of the Regional Skills Development project involves establishing where and how this training is being completed, to determine if it’s the best and most efficient arrangement for Central Highlands businesses.

Over the coming months I will contact businesses in the resources, agribusiness and tourism sectors within the Central Highlands to discuss the skills you need now and down the track

So, what skills will you require in the future? Businesses first need to forecast how they will evolve across the next five to 10 years. Will the traditional market for your customers remain constant or will your business need to diversify or adapt to match the needs of the changing market? The reference group has looked at some the technical and soft skills that may be needed and considered some of the factors that could drive the changes. These include:

  • Opportunities – economic, environmental conditions, socio-economic, and lifestyle including work/life balance.
  • Threats – Attraction and retention of quality skilled staff, quality training providers, cost to small business in training and updating staff in skills, diversity and inclusion in some businesses.

These will be some of the topics I will be exploring when speaking with businesses. If you’d like to know more, or are keen to be involved, please get in touch.

Contact Brad Stallard E: bstallard@chdc.com.au or T: (07) 4982 4386 or M: 0488 780 181.

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