New committee to focus on Gold Coast jobs

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development The Honourable Di Farmer

The Gold Coast is to receive more support from the Palaszczuk Government to create jobs and grow local businesses and industries, with a dedicated Regional Jobs Committee coming to the area.

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the Palaszczuk Government was helping to create jobs, improve training opportunities, and drive economic activity right across Queensland through its COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

“The Palaszczuk Government knows that the employment and training needs on the Gold Coast are different to those in Townsville or Toowoomba,” Minister Farmer said.

“That’s why we developed Regional Jobs Committees, so those with the local expertise can engage with government and other stakeholders to make plans that work for where they are.”

Member for Gaven Meaghan Scanlon said the Palaszczuk Government was backing businesses on the Gold Coast.

“Queensland’s diverse regions have different goals and priorities, and this new Regional Jobs Committee will make sure the employment and training needs in the Gold Coast are front and centre,” Ms Scanlon said.

“I regularly speak with Minister Farmer about local Gold Coast businesses and how important it is to have local solutions, and it’s great that each committee has the flexibility to pursue their goals that will best support their local priorities.

“The Gold Coast Regional Jobs Committee will bring together a host of stakeholders on the ground such as businesses, training organisations and employers to make sure that we are creating the best opportunity for businesses to grow and play a role in reducing unemployment in our region.

“The region has been hit hard by international border closures and the end of JobKeeper, and that’s why the Palaszczuk Government has made the Gold Coast a priority for this support.

“Along with $42 million to upgrade Gold Coast TAFE campuses and the $71 million budget boost for the screen industry, this new Regional Jobs Committee is just another example of how the Palaszczuk Government is backing business on the Gold Coast.”

Regional Development Australia (RDA) Gold Coast will host the committee and local director Estella Rodighiero said the first priority will be working with industry operators to find ways to support tourism and hospitality jobs post-COVID.

“Tourism has always been a mainstay of our economy so connecting businesses with support services, optimising local training programs to deliver the right staff or finding ways to support new specialities, such as experience-based tourism, are all worth looking at,” Ms Rodighiero said.

“We also need to secure jobs of the future. We have globally competitive high-tech industries such as biomedical and health, space and aerospace, Industry 4.0, food processing, advanced manufacturing, marine and their supply chains, which offer more opportunities.

“The next step for this Regional Jobs Committee will be supercharging partnerships between employers, schools, universities, training institutions and government to build a workforce pipeline for local businesses and industry.”

Minister Farmer said the Gold Coast Regional Jobs Committee brings the number statewide to eight, with the six committees established in 2019 in Townsville, Mackay, Fraser Coast, Springfield, Redlands and Toowoomba and another new committee announced for Bundaberg last week.

“The established committees are delivering some great results in their local areas by identifying gaps in local service delivery and fostering collaboration and local partnerships between industry representatives, employers, small business and government,” Minister Farmer said.

“For example the Redlands committee hosted a Regional Jobs Committee Futures Forum to bring together community stakeholders and plan for the pipeline of over $6 billion to be invested in the region.”

Gold Coast business, Leada Swimwear, has had a challenging 12 months managing the impacts of COVID-19 and an increasingly competitive online market. The business received a Small Business COVID-19 Adaption Grant to update its website and has just employed a new trainee to bring the number of staff to four.

Owner Gavin Perry said he welcomed the new Regional Jobs Committee to help identify the workforce needs of local industries.

“For instance in the clothing industry, there’s a need for training in all aspects of clothing manufacturing and in particular, the dying art of sewing and cutting, this along with the implementation of automation and greater promotion of Australian-made clothing will enable local businesses to compete with the cheaper imported goods,” Mr Perry said.

Minister Farmer said the Gold Coast Regional Jobs Committees is part of the $200 million Future Skills Fund to harness local resources for skills development and to build workforce resilience.

“It is vital that the Queensland Government continues to collaborate with local stakeholders to achieve real results for regional economies, businesses and individuals,” Minister Farmer said.

“That is why from today we are calling for expressions of interest from local small business owners to join the revitalised Queensland Small Business Advisory Council (QSBAC) to help us deliver our Big Plans for Small Business Strategy.”

To submit an Expression of Interest to join the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council visit www.advisoryboardcentre.com/qsbadvisorycouncil by 5pm Tuesday 27 July.

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