Solutions to skill shortage

Employment and Skills Development Manager Peter Mitchell.

Employment and Skills Development Manager Peter Mitchell.

Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) is looking to help increase the number of apprenticeships and traineeships taken up over the next four years to address the skill shortages in the region.

The Eyre Peninsula faces major skill shortages in the aged care, resources and infrastructure, business administration, retail, and civil construction industries, with employers unable to find suitably trained candidates to fill roles. 

RDAWEP employment and skills development manager Peter Mitchell said the organisation had considerable experience and expertise in coordinating training for small employers by aggregating their collective needs to “achieve economies of scale” for businesses and the government.

“The region has a relatively low unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent and a small pool of approximately 1400 unemployed people, however, the number of skilled tradespeople is lower than is needed to meet the anticipated demand in a future regional workforce,” Mr Mitchell said.

“Clearly future growth in any industry will be stalled if a labour force cannot keep up with the skills demanded of the industry.

“There is a general reluctance by many employers to take on apprentices due to a perceived risk of training them and then losing them to an opposition business.”

Mr Mitchell said RDAWEP was working with a number of large and small businesses in the development of programs to increase their uptake of apprenticeships and traineeships. 

He said the interest had come from manufacturing, mining, housing industry, agricultural machinery supplies, councils, farming, retail and natural resource management sectors.

If you are a small business and believe you can partner with other similar businesses or you represent a business sector and would like to learn more about how RDAWEP may be able to help with resourcing your apprentice or trainee program, contact RDAWEP’s Peter Mitchell on 8623 0506.