Monthly Market Review September 2023

Posted on Monday, October 9, 2023 by EditorNo comments
  • Mixed picture for recruitment and experiences
  • Jobs boosts in Rockhampton and Banana Shire
  • Clean energy capacity under review

Recruitment and Experiences report findings

The latest data from Jobs and Skills Australia shows that the August 2023 “Recruitment and Experiences report” reflects a somewhat mixed picture of the labour market in Australia. Here are some key takeaways and their implications for the Central Queensland region.

While in general recruitment activity has somewhat declined, the report notes a slight increase in recruitment difficulty. This suggests that employers are finding it challenging to fill open positions with qualified candidates. For job seekers, this presents an opportunity to stand out in a competitive market by acquiring in-demand skills.

Significant variations in recruitment rates by industry are highlighted in the report. Some industries, such as Accommodation and Food Services, have seen substantial declines in recruitment activity, while others like Retail Trade have also experienced challenges. For job seekers, it's crucial to consider these industry-specific trends when exploring career opportunities.

Despite short-term fluctuations, the report suggests that labour market conditions remain relatively favourable compared to previous years. While recruitment activity may have decreased in the short term, it's important to consider long-term trends and remain adaptable to changing job market dynamics.

In our region, these findings imply that job seekers should continue to expect a competitive job market and acquiring skills in sectors experiencing demand, such as healthcare and technology, could enhance employability. Additionally, employers need to be increasingly open to considering candidates from outside the region to alleviate their recruitment difficulties.

New Solar Farm approved, 40kms north of Biloela

The Minister for the Environment and Water has just recently announced the approval of a new solar farm in Smoky Creek, Central Queensland. This solar farm is set to be a significant contributor to Australia's renewable energy goals, as it will generate enough energy to power 200,000 households and reduce carbon emissions by one million tonnes annually.

The solar farm project includes plans to ensure that at least half of the jobs and procurement associated with the project will be sourced locally. This commitment to local employment is likely to have a positive impact, providing job opportunities and some economic stimulus.

The approval of the Smoky Creek solar farm aligns with the government's ambition to boost renewable energy capacity, reduce carbon emissions, and stimulate local job growth.

Boost to health and community services in Rockhampton

Seven organizations in Queensland are receiving over $1 million in funding from the Queensland Care Consortium, a partnership between Jobs Queensland and industry, to enhance the health and community services workforce. By 2024-25, it's expected that these sectors will employ 63,000 more people compared to 2020-21, totalling over 440,800 jobs.

The projects, including one by Central Queensland Indigenous Development in Rockhampton, aim to promote workforce development, attraction, and retention, with a focus on underrepresented groups such as First Nations people and young individuals. This initiative positively impacts Rockhampton by fostering job opportunities and growth in its community services sector.

The Clean Energy Generation

The Australian Government has commissioned Jobs and Skills Australia to conduct a capacity study on the workforce needs for Australia's transition to a clean energy economy. The final report, titled "The Clean Energy Generation: workforce needs for a net-zero economy," offers 50 recommendations to ensure the country has the skills and workforce necessary to meet clean energy goals. The report emphasises that reaching the net-zero emissions target by 2050 will require a substantial workforce transformation, similar to past industrial and digital transformations. This transformation will create new jobs, skills, qualifications, and training pathways.

Significantly, the report highlights several key points of relevance to Central Queensland:

  • Skills Gap and Vocational Education: The report warns of a potential shortfall in Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualified workers, particularly in trades like electricians. Addressing this gap will be crucial in ensuring the workforce is adequately skilled to support the clean energy sector.

  • Regional Opportunities: It identifies emerging skills gaps in regional Australia, but also highlights opportunities for growth in regions where new clean energy industries will develop. As a region already embracing new technologies such as the Gladstone hydrogen plant, this reflects that our region will play a vital role in meeting the demand for skilled workers in the clean energy sector.

  • Inclusivity: The report acknowledges the barriers and challenges faced by women, First Nations people, and migrants in participating in the sector. It emphasises the importance of ensuring that the workforce transformation is inclusive and provides opportunities for underrepresented groups.

  • Interconnected Workforce: Rather than viewing clean energy as a standalone industry, the report recognises its integration into various sectors, including construction and research and development. This means that clean energy jobs are distributed throughout the workforce, potentially offering diverse opportunities for workers.
  • In summary, the report's recommendations and insights are significant for the region as they highlight the need for upskilling, the potential for job growth in clean energy, and the importance of inclusivity in the workforce transformation. These findings can inform regional policies and initiatives to prepare the workforce for the clean energy transition and ensure it benefits the broader community.

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