Transforming Geelong from traditional manufacturing to innovation

Geelong’s unemployment rate has risen to nearly 7.5% – a 1.8% increase from the year before.  With blue and white-collar jobs drying up the city’s unemployment rate is hitting local youth the hardest.

90,000 young Victorians out of work – and no jobs

A recent article describes the 21% youth unemployment in Geelong as “an absolute crisis” – which is well beyond the state’s 16.3% rate.

“We have got youth unemployment at levels that we simply haven’t seen since the global financial crisis.  On top of that, we’ve seen a significant shift in employment overall,” Victorian Council of Social Services’ Chief Executive Emma King emphasised recently.

“So for young people, following such a shift in employment from manufacturing to the service industry, young people simply aren’t getting their fair share of jobs.”

But local groups and the Government are taking action – to help transforming Geelong from traditional manufacturing to innovation.

Building a modern centre of innovation in Geelong

The Government is investing in jobs, innovation and growth in Geelong.  Last month, the Government announced it plans to base its $14 million Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre in Geelong – one in a network of centres nationwide.  The Centre will develop a sector competitiveness plan to link local businesses with global companies.

The Government is investing in education too.  Newcomb Secondary College will introduce an industry partnership to better prepare students to enter the workforce – committing $500,000 towards establishing the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) model.

The program, starting at the College in 2016, will focus on the jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, partnering with local industry and providing vocational pathways.

There is also a $1.3 million investment into the Geelong Employment Facilitator, establishing a new Job Connections office and Geelong Region Future Jobs Taskforce. These bodies will identify jobs and the skills needs for the region.

An economy on the rise

The Economic Indicators Bulletin shows Geelong’s economy is on the rise.

Over $1.2 billion of major construction and redevelopment is underway in Geelong with another $1.9 billion awaiting commencement or in planning stages. In the past twelve months construction worth $745 million has been completed across a wide range of industry sectors.

Enterprise Geelong is part of the driving force achieving sustainable employment and economic growth.  The organisation works on partnerships, sources investment opportunities, secures state and federal funding… and builds on existing alliances – all in the interests of the region.

The City Plan (2013-2017) is just one of their initiatives, which addresses five important priorities for the region:

  1. Support existing businesses and encourage new and emerging growth sectors
  2. Facilitate major infrastructure and investment to enable economic growth
  3. A prosperous and innovative Geelong
  4. A successful and vibrant city centre
  5. Greater Geelong is a leading city for tourism, arts, culture and events

The plan sets out our city’s vision and identifies the strategic directions, priorities and strategies to position Geelong region as the best place to live, not only today, but into the future.

Geelong’s proximity to Melbourne, its liveability and cost advantages continue to position it as an ideal spot to attract new investment and residents.  A great regional city with a government supporting is future, Geelong is on its way to building a prosperous economy for its people.

Workforce development strategies can help support the Government, industry and community initiatives.

If you’d like to talk to have a chat about strategies to suit your region, please contact Wendy Perry via wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au.

October 2015

 

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