The Regional Skills Taskforces provide a way for industries to identify workforce training needs and promote quality training pathways that lead to skills development and jobs across regional and rural Victoria. This process was first piloted in the Mallee region of Victoria, consisting of Buloke, Gannawarra, Mildura and Swan Hill shires. An outcome of the Regional Skills Taskforce – Mallee Region was the preparation of a Regional Skills Demand Profile.
The Regional Skills Taskforce – Mallee Region (the Taskforce) was a pilot led by the Victorian Skills Authority (VSA) independently of, but in parallel to, the Regional Partnerships established by Regional Development Victoria (RDV).
The focus of the Taskforce is on the skilling needs of the region and the development of a Regional Skills Demand Profile (the Profile). Over the duration of the Taskforce, it engaged representatives of the demand side of the market (local employers) to identify where future jobs may be coming from. From that, it explored appropriate pathways and skills requirements.
This was an important step in identifying shifts in industry and highlighting the skills and training needs of the region to support these shifts. It drew attention to the value of qualifications and pathways, and identifies obstacles in training and skills that industry is currently facing or is likely to face in the future.
The Mallee Region (the Region), encompassing Buloke, Gannawarra, Mildura and Swan Hill shires, is poised for growth. A supply of locally skilled workers to underpin this growth is critical. However, the Vocational Education and Training (VET) system is not always aligned with the current and future skill needs of local employers. A demand driven response can help strengthen this alignment to ensure current and emerging skill shortages are addressed and workers are skilled, productive and employable. Fuelled by investment in horticulture, solar and other industries, the Region is forecast to experience strong near term growth in demand for labour.
NMLLEN supported the Victorian Skills Authority to provide data, advice, and support for the consultation. The taskforce projected a future workforce demand of between 2,900 and 4,400 new workers from 2017 to 2020 across the Mallee. (Download the Victorian Skills Commissioner – 2017 Regional Skills Demand Profile – The Mallee)
A ‘Pulse Check’ organised by Regional Development Victoria in September 2020 indicated that employers can expect continued employment growth with the potential for between 1,000 – 2,500 jobs to be created over the next three years until 2023. An additional 2,000 workers will be required to replace expected retirements. (Download the Mallee Regional Skills Demand Profile – Pulse Check 2020)
LLENs across the state are crucial in generating awareness of these opportunities and assisting young people to navigate the pathways through school and training in an effort to obtain the skills that will prepare students for these employment opportunities. NMLLEN plays a vital role in developing partnerships that strengthen VET delivered to secondary students and linkages to the world of work through placements.