Workforce Development Study

This report has been developed to provide the evidence that enables strong planning, industry growth and a sustainable and prosperous region. RDA Far West offer our sincere appreciation to the regions employers that took the time to complete the survey and inform this report.

The first Far West NSW Workforce Development Study was conducted in 2016, anecdotal evidence and the community narrative indicated growing issues around attracting and retaining staff, a misalignment with education and training opportunities and pathways and a growing need to better understand if the narrative had substance, and if so, what were the real experiences from an employer’s perspective. Regional Development Australia Far West (RDA Far West) developed a comprehensive online survey, trialled the survey with a number of community organisations and government representatives to ensure its suitability, structure and intent, and encouraged all employers in the region to undertake the survey and provide input from their experiences across a number of areas including growth aspirations, education and training opportunities and alignment, attraction and retention of staff, impacts, opportunities and barriers. The survey also sought to collect the employer’s perspective in a number of areas to support work readiness programs in local schools, including job readiness, resume satisfaction, advice from employers and generic employability skills. As a direct outcome of the 2016 survey RDA Far West worked with a number of government departments and community and regional organisations to develop strategies to overcome some of the identified issues employers were experiencing. The establishment of Country Universities Centre Far West, the Far West Proud campaign and the establishment of a Training and Employment Coordinator position were direct outcomes from the 2016 survey. The Board of RDA Far West determined to update the study on a triannual basis to better understand the effectiveness of implemented strategies and the impact of time and rapidly changing circumstances.