On Wed 24 May the Future Shapers had their second participant coordinated program day exploring the topic of Jobs and Skills – Innovative solutions to securing skilled workforce in our region. As always it was a huge day, packed full of opportunities.
“Key takeaways for me: affordable housing in the region is vital to meaningful employment, manufacturing is alive and well in Ballarat and we should celebrate and promote this as a career opportunity to keep people in our region.
There is a great opportunity to consider the future of work, what flexibility means and why are we still trying to fit employees into old ways of working?”
“As someone who really has no clue about the pressures and challenges in manufacturing, it was a real eye-opener for me. There really is some incredible stuff going on here in our region that for a lot of us, would be invisible – if it weren’t for these kinds of opportunities. Also as someone with two young people in my life who are making the transition from secondary education into the world of work, it made me reflect on how perhaps our secondary (and possibly tertiary) education system isn’t really keeping pace with what the real world needs are. I feel like there is quite a disconnect there… Despite all the challenges, our speakers and also visiting MaxiTrans demonstrated that businesses who put their people at the centre will have the capacity to design their own solutions – even when all the systemic issues around them are presenting roadblocks.”
There were some fascinating takeaways and insights from this session, which point to a “wicked”-style problem for commerce, employment and business growth in Ballarat and the region, i.e. no single solution, complex inter-webbed causes etc. It is clear there are thriving industries in Ballarat which have potential to grow and sustain employment for its community. Some challenges are securing the right skills locally, for which solutions are being sourced via skilled migration pathways.