A new report by Federation University prepared in partnership with the Latrobe Valley Authority studying workforce participation, which is defined as people aged 16-64 currently employed or seeking employment, shows Gippsland at 51.4% sits well below the Victorian average of 64.6% and the national average of 66.7%.
Released on August 10 at the Morwell Innovation Centre the Gippsland Regional Labour Force Participation Report provides key findings, data, and insights to support significant changes as to help how people find work in Gippsland. The report highlights some challenging figures particularly in youth workforce participation which is declining, barriers for women and high levels of non-participation among older people.
For Professor Phillip Taylor, Professor of Human Resource Management at Federation University, and lead author of the report, now is the time to work together to increase workforce participation as it is an important element to a healthy growing economy.
“We need to change the narrative from focusing on the unemployment rate, which is at a record low, to talking about labour force participation," Professor Taylor said.
“Now is the time for agencies and the community to work as a team to support businesses struggling to recruit and retain staff and help people keep jobs or find a way back into work in Gippsland. We need to ensure the employment ecosystem is designed to be fit for purpose and recognises the change in our world of work. We all have a role to play helping people stay engaged.”
“The community, universities and TAFE, government, employment agencies and employers need to work together to tailor services and training programs to break down employment barriers and help people prepare for the new world of work.
“We have a generation of young people who need help engaging and many people in work thinking about their futures as industries and occupations transform."
While the State Government through the LVA has supported a range of services such as Broadening Horizons, which is a school-based program to retain youth at school, and Ladder which continues to help the young and disadvantaged youth across the community, more needs to be done.
With significant change in the Latrobe Valley and Gippsland development of future skills are critical.
The LVA in partnership with Jobs Victoria, key regional stakeholders and the Federal Government have commenced engagements across the community to explore barriers and future employment needs.
Download the Report