Industry and Government join forces to develop SA workforce

By: Chris Smith


The South Australian Government is boosting its partnership with industry in jointly developing the State’s future workforce, by injecting $9

The South Australian Government is boosting its partnership with industry in jointly developing the State’s future workforce, by injecting $9 million over five years into the State’s industry skill boards, a 43 percent rise in funding.

Employment, Training and Further Education Minister, Paul Caica says the industry skill boards, established three years ago, have been instrumental in building awareness with their industry sectors of the critical importance of workforce development and planning.

"The State’s nine skill boards have been ideally placed to bring together industry, government and regional groups to identify and meet emerging workforce demands," Caica says.

"And with the backing of the State’s Workforce Development Fund, the Boards have harnessed equivalent funding contributions from industry to pilot innovative and practical solutions.

"We need a system for developing South Australia’s workforce that can respond rapidly to the multiple demands and changes it is facing.

"These include the impact of demographic change, new technologies, changing skill demands from industry including new demands from growing industry sectors and the consequent impact on other sectors, an increasingly competitive labour market and, of course globalisation.

"To achieve this, we need stronger participation from industry and enterprise in the development and delivery of our skilled workforce, and that’s why a significant part of the Government’s Skills Strategy involves a strengthened role for the industry skill boards."

In new funding deeds being announced by the Minister, each of the nine boards will now receive $1-million funding from the State Government over the next 5 years, a rise of a $300,000 each, taking the total to $9 million.

"This increased funding will secure their crucial role in gathering industry intelligence to support workforce development priorities and promote best practice strategies to industry," he says.

Caica says one of the most successful joint projects to be undertaken by the skill boards is the development of a retention model for mature-aged tradespeople, in which they are retrained to become the trainers of new recruits.

"This great initiative makes the best use of the wealth of knowledge and skills that experienced tradespeople possess, and ensures this is not lost to industry or our training sector," he says.

"Given our demographic changes, the mature-aged ‘tradies’ model has very broad application to industry."

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