Many thanks to those who have contacted me about the Bridging the Skills Gap project. It is very encouraging that we have so many industry representatives who are enthusiastic and keen to be involved in identifying the current and futures skills needed in their industry. The reference group has been established and will meet in November to advise on current skills that can be identified now and what skills that will need additional research. The reference group will also assist in identifying strategies to improve local employer, service provider and registered training organisation (RTO) connections, to improve work experience and employment opportunities.

Through my role, this project will engage directly with small and medium organisations to confirm the specific skills needed within the Central Highlands. The project can then identify and review the effectiveness of the current training available, and the opportunities to provide either better training, improved delivery of training, or training that better suits an industry’s specific needs. Spanning across the agribusiness, tourism and resources sectors, there may be some commonalities for skills, but the focus will be on those skills needed specific to the Central Highlands.

I have been attending a range of workshops and industry meetings. These include:

• A meeting with QLD Farmers Federation representatives for the Rural Jobs & Skills Alliance (RJSA)
• QLD Local Content Leaders Forum with QLD Resources Council
• Industry & Innovation Resources Forum
• CH VET Network Meeting for VETiS
• QLD Resources Training Council Forum on skills for future supervisors
• Senior Officers Network on local needs
• Department of State Development on role and impact of project with the industries
• Skills for Queensland consultation forum to provide feedback from the Central Highlands region.

All these interactions are ensuring the project can get a current picture before approaching Central Highlands organisations for an individual response.

The project is the first of the Queensland Government’s Regional Skills Investment Strategy to be commenced so it’s exciting to lead the way in the identification of skills and identifying the possible gaps. However, there is already a lot of relevant research and information from peak bodies and industry representatives, so I won’t be reinventing the wheel. It’s more about confirming that the information is consistent for the Central Highlands.

Once the project plan is confirmed with the reference group, I will be contacting organisations over the next few months to discuss the initial findings and seek comments. The project is very fortunate to have great connections in the current industry, via CHDC’s Agribusiness Development Coordinator, Tourism Development Officer and the Business Facilitator.

I strongly encourage you to contact me with your feedback. Thank you to everyone who has already contributed. With this information, the project can provide the
Department of Employment, Small Business and Training with information specific to the Central Highlands.

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

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