Building economic prosperity in the Southern Flinders Ranges, Yorke & Mid North

The region incorporates wine, tourism and a blend of industry common to many regional areas across South Australia.

According to Regional Development Australia (RDA), the Yorke and Mid North region is in the central part of the State with a population of 74,521 representing 4.7% of the State’s population.

The region encompasses the Skills for Jobs in Regions Jobs and Skills Regional Networks of Mid North, Southern Flinders and Yorke Peninsula regions.

The top four industries in the area at the time of Census 2006 included Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing (21.3%), 5708 employed; Retail Trade (13.7%), 3903 employed; Health and Community Services (12.1%), 3,435 employed; and Manufacturing (10.1%), 2,736 employed.

Critical areas of development

There is a fundamental focus on the following areas by RDA in the Mid North, Yorke & Southern Flinders regions:

  • Indigenous participation in economic development
  • Supporting and attracting major development to the Yorke and Mid North
  • Supporting local government in economic and community development
  • Developing and implementing major policy and strategic investments across the region including in the areas of digital economy, climate change and adaptation
  • Maintaining and developing key regional documents including the Regional Roadmap
  • Co-ordinating and preparation of submissions and input to Government planning and requests for regional intelligence
  • Working with the region in promoting sustainable economic development
  • Initiatives around social inclusion and affordable housing
  • Community consultation on regional and RDAYMN priorities

Workforce development

In April of this year (2015), the seven Regional Development Australia associations joined forces to develop a joint agreement on a new three year funding agreement, to drive economic development across SA.

The Yorke and Mid North region which is inclusive of Southern Flinders will receive $475,000 in funding for workforce development and skills programs within the area to support economic development.

According to Regional Development Minister and Member for Frome, Geoff Brock, $3 million in annual funding would continue to be provided to the RDAs over the next three years to “support the State Government’s efforts to grow stronger, sustainable and more competitive regions.

Growth opportunities

A growth in “cycling tourism” has emerged in recent years, opening up opportunities to develop appropriate workforce framework to further grow the average spend per cyclist, lengthen their stay in the region, provide structured packages for teams of cyclists, and organise more events in the region that encourage more cyclists and tourists into the area.  It has been shown that ‘cyclist tourists’ spend on average two nights more in the region than any other tourist (an increase from 5 average days to 7 days).

Encouraging new entrepreneurs and innovation is an opportunity for the region and this may also line up with solving some of the regions challenges.  For example, a Lyft style Facebook group and potential app where people travelling to and from the same locations can car pool and gain ‘lifts’.

Workforce initiatives

In 2015, the RDA are overseeing the ‘Community Services’ project – an initiative aimed at engaging a minimum of 172 participants from the Yorke and Mid North Region (Yorke, Southern Flinders and Mid North sub-regions) and will achieve a minimum of 86 employment outcomes.  The project is looking to engage, train, support and link participants to employment opportunities in community services.

Developing stronger links between RDA, industry leaders and local businesses across all 3 regions, and councils would enable higher levels of collaboration, more opportunities to connect community members with job opportunities, and open up more conversation between to agree critical job roles, capabilities and a joint action plan.

If you would like a regional development workforce plan developed for your region or community, speak to the experts in workforce planning.  Contact Wendy at wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au for a one on one consultation.

May 2015

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