If there is anything history has taught us, it is with any revolution we live through, there is always a path that leads to transformation.
As a society, the impacts of digital technology are upon us and it is vital that the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday (MIW) regional workforces across all industries are skilled and prepared for the jobs of tomorrow.
Last year GW3 in partnership with the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) delivered the Regional Jobs Committee project, to collate information and data to better understand the changing workforce and skilling requirements of the future.
The Greater Whitsunday Future Skills Roadmap released last month was a key deliverable of the Regional Jobs Committee project and provides a summary of the skills and training required for the region in the future.
The roadmap includes recommendations under four key pillars to educate the region to ensure the Greater Whitsunday workforces remain adaptable, resilient, and employable in the future of work.
Greater Whitsunday Alliance (GW3) CEO Ms Kylie Porter said the Mackay Regional Jobs Committee project culminated in the Greater Whitsunday Future Skills Roadmap and complements the extensive work GW3 has been undertaking in the priority area of future education, skills and training.
“The roadmap informs both government and industry around the skills requirements and opportunities associated with future jobs and employment and proposes a range of strategies to realise these opportunities.
“For the last twelve months, GW3 has been working closely with industry, education and training, and government representatives to identify exactly what education and skills are required to meet the future job market.”
Ms Porter said the findings taken from the roadmap highlighted foundational skills including digital and enterprise skills as critical to jobs of the future.
“Our region needs to be proactive in implementing strategies to ensure all workers, including those that are currently in employment are upskilled and supported in-region, to transition into new job tasks and roles as the nature of work changes,” she said.
Ms Porter said there were several sectors including Agriculture, Aquaculture, Health Care and Social Assistance and Construction, along with Information and Communications Technology (ICT) that are expected to experience workforce growth.
According to the roadmap there are several key regional economic projects that are likely to have a positive impact on the Agriculture workforce in the future, which are not currently captured within the Jobs Queensland and Mackay Isaac Whitsunday Future Employment Study data.
This includes the Greater Whitsunday region being recognised by the Queensland government as a favourable location to increase economic participation in the emerging global biomanufacturing industry, with the establishment of a proposed Future Foods Bio-Hub in the region.
The roadmap also showcases Aquaculture as another sector within Agriculture which is expected to see significant jobs growth.
In a press-release from July 2020, Queensland Premiere and Minister for Trade, Anastasia Palaszczuk, identified that the Greater Whitsunday region is one step closer to benefitting from a $257 million investment by seafood company Tassal Group, which is expected to create up to 1000 operational jobs in Aquaculture once this project is realised.
The roadmap also reported that while automation and augmentation are likely to have an impact on occupations within the Agriculture industry, most of these impacts will be absorbed within the projected occupation growth.
“In alignment with other industries the key upskilling requirements to ensure successful transition of the Agriculture workforce will be digital foundations, skills in using work related technology and enterprise skills in agility and adaptability to be able to respond to constantly changing workforce demands.” *
To read the Greater Whitsunday Future Skills Roadmap visit: