A new report into Melbourne’s booming western suburbs has recommended a greater link between training and employment to meet a shortage in specialist jobs.
The Melbourne’s West – Future Workforce Report has recommended a new economic development strategy be prepared, to set a long-term plan for jobs growth.
In response, Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan has announced $80,000 to fund the strategy, which will underpin job creation in emerging industries.
The recently formed West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance (WOMEDA) will drive the new strategy, investigating ways to boost existing industries, such as transport, logistics and construction, and attracting new digital and e-commerce investment.
The Future Workforce report states local employers need more workers with higher numeracy, literacy and customer service, as well as greater science, technology, engineering and mathematic skills.
Structural unemployment was identified in some professions where there was an oversupply of new graduates but shortages for higher level specialist skills.
The report was prepared by Western Melbourne RDA with the Victorian and Federal governments and Lead West, in response to the level of population growth and need for more employment in Melbourne’s west.
Chaired by former Premier Steve Bracks, WOMEDA is supported by the Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia (RDA), Victoria University and western suburbs councils.
The west is home to the busiest container port in the Southern Hemisphere and has extensive road, rail and aviation links, making it the ideal location for more jobs.
The region is among the fastest-growing in Australia and population predictions suggest it will accommodate more than 40 per cent of Melbourne’s city’s metropolitan population growth in the next 40 years.
Quotes attributable to the Minister for Industry and Employment Wade Noonan
“The west is going from strength to strength but we need a long-term plan for boosting jobs and capitalising on growth – job creation does not happen by accident.”
“Through the partnerships we’re forming with local government and industry groups, the Andrews Labor Government will have more local people working in emerging industries right here in Melbourne’s west.”