RDA Illawarra, in conjunction with the Member for Whitlam, Stephen Jones, and Member for Cunningham, the Hon. Sharon Bird, held a Skill Shortages event today.  Over 40 Illawarra stakeholders attended the round-table forum and identified skill shortages and what we can do to fill the skill needs of employers.

Stephen Jones, Member for Whitlam said “We’ve got jobs, we need workers – whether it’s hospitality, construction or manufacturing – we need more skilled workers”.

Sharon Bird, Member for Cunningham said “the skill shortages are two-fold, both entry level people and highly skilled professionals are needed to fill jobs in the Illawarra.”

Debra Murphy, CEO of RDA Illawarra said “the COVID-19 pandemic has put further pressure on existing chronic skill shortages.  The biggest challenge to Illawarra businesses re-opening post Lockdown is securing skilled people.

The pandemic influences on skills include: furloughed workforces; stop and start lockdowns; remote working; frontline service provision challenges; mandatory vaccinations; disaster payments; border closures; and population changes, with reduced migrant workers.  All of these factors have put even more pressure on re-opening post Lockdown in the Illawarra’s skill shortage environment.”

Today’s round-table skill shortages event identified immediate and long term solutions to the skill shortages and we will be working through the priority actions to address the region’s critical skill needs.

RDA Illawarra looks forward to working with our regional stakeholders to shore up the skill gaps and enable the economy to effectively resume. See the key findings from the roundtable here.