Gabrielle Duykers, Naracoorte Community News
A pilot program headed by the region’s development body will work with local businesses to improve their chances of attracting, developing, and retaining skilled workers.
Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) has received a $170,000 grant from the State Government to trial its Region Ready project as part of the government’s Accelerating Regional Employment Program.
The Region Ready project will work with stakeholders to assist skilled workers from interstate and overseas settle into employment in the Limestone Coast.
Liberal Member for McKillop Nick McBride said the program would help drive migration to the region and connect workers with employers.
“This has a flow-on effect to the entire community, creating jobs and boosting the local economy,” Mr McBride said.
“The Limestone Coast is a great place to live and work, with more and more career opportunities as businesses move outside of the cities during the pandemic.”
About 25 small-to-medium size businesses from across the region will be selected to undertake an ‘employer of choice’ workshop as part of the program.
RDALC manager of business and workforce development Rachael Ashman said the workshop would equip employers to better attract the workforce they need.
“The workshop will talk about things like how to create a flexible workplace, the importance of reward and recognition and valuing staff, and the importance of developing staff in your team,” Ms Ashman said.
The workshop will also help businesses navigate migration programs and visa issues when sourcing staff from overseas, and look at how to utilise apprenticeship and trainee employees.
Region Ready will also develop a publicly available ‘employer of choice toolkit’ covering key aspects of the workshop to help connect the wider business community to the pilot program.
“While we’re not saying everyone in the Limestone Coast is going to become an employer of choice, we certainly hope that people will start adopting practices in their workplaces that will make them the type of places you’d want to work at,” Ms Ashman said.
“Where you are valued, supported, and treated fairly.
“There is space for all organisations when it comes to how they can treat their employers better.”
The RDALC is hoping that working with employers to build their knowledge and skills will help them stand out in the current competitive jobs market. Businesses can register their interest for the Region Ready program in the next few weeks.
This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.