The challenges are:
- insufficient local jobs
- leaks in the skill development pipeline
- the presence of fragile networks linking education providers and industry.
The challenges were identified following wide-ranging research, including economic modelling, a survey of local businesses, interviews and a literature search.
Nearly half the workers of Melbourne’s west must commute outside their booming region for work while local employers complain they can’t find local staff with the right skills. This situation is expected to worsen over the coming decade. This paradox needs to be addressed. Two-thirds of local businesses reported a current skills gap that required bringing in staff from outside the region, or predictions they would struggle in future to find the right workers locally.
The report sets out solutions – providing strategies that were co-designed with industry and government to benefit the west over the next ten years.
This report will stimulate a major discussion of important policy settings for the future economic prosperity and social wellbeing of our region. As the major tertiary education institution in the west, Victoria University is leading the way in evidence-based research informing future economic policy for the area it serves.