Cairns (DOC download)

Document Sample
Cairns (DOC download) Powered By Docstoc
					Contents
Regional employment plan .................................................................................................................. 2
Strategy summary ................................................................................................................................ 4
Profile of the Cairns priority employment area ................................................................................... 6
Key challenges .................................................................................................................................... 10
Issues and needs of employers .......................................................................................................... 12
Goals and strategies ........................................................................................................................... 14
Outcomes ........................................................................................................................................... 18
Appendix A—existing initiatives ........................................................................................................ 19




                                                                                                                                              1
Regional employment plan
Keep Australia Working is part of the Australian Government's response to the global recession. As part of
Keep Australia Working, Cairns was identified as one of 20 priority employment areas across the country.
This is one of the areas identified as being most vulnerable to unemployment during times of economic
downturn.
In each area, a local employment coordinator has been appointed to maximise the Nation Building –
Economic Stimulus Plan, to create job opportunities for local people and develop a regional employment
plan.
The local employment coordinator for Cairns is Mr Peter Doutre. Mr Doutre has engaged a Keep Cairns
Working Advisory Committee to help develop this regional employment plan. The committee comprises
key local stakeholders and includes:
   Mr Russell Beer, Advance Cairns
   Ms Margaret Darveniza, Advance Cairns
   Mr Ron Bannah, Master Builders Queensland
   Mr Rob Giason, Tourism Tropical North Queensland
   Ms Katrina Spies, Q.I.T.E
   Mr Todd Hartley, Choice
   Ms Joann Pyne, Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE
   Mr Terry Brennan, Cassowary Coast Regional Council
   Mr Leon Yeatman, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council
   Ms Lyn Russell, Cairns Regional Council
   Mr Ian Church, Tablelands Regional Council
   Mr Darren Cleland, Department Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
   Ms Julie Dare, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
   Dr Stephen Weller, James Cook University
   Mr Noel Gertz, Kagara Zinc
   Mr Robert Willmett, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
   Ms Colleen Hallmond, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

The local employment coordinator has also established an Indigenous reference group to work with the
Keep Cairns Working Advisory Committee on Indigenous issues. Members of the Indigenous reference
group include:

   Mr Percy Neale, Yarrabah Regional Council
   Mr Alwyn Lyall, Western Yalanji Corporation
   Ms Rowena Bullio, Department of Communities
   Mr Aaron Faaso, Department of Sport and Recreation
   Ms Kathleen Lakatos, Centrelink
   Mr Tony Martens, Indigenous Coordination Centre
   Mr Terry Edwards, Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation
   Mr Andrew Yeatman, Ergon Energy
   Mr Noel Gertz, Kagara Zinc
   Mr Rod Willie, Construction Skills Queensland

The regional employment plan draws on the expertise and ideas of the committee members and those
employers and community leaders who attended the Keep Australia Working Forum in Cairns on
25 September 2009.




                                                                                                     2
The plan sets out the employment priorities for the local employment coordinator and Keep Cairns Working
Advisory Committee. It sets goals and outlines the strategies that will be used to meet those goals.

The committee has been critical in the development of the plan and will work with the local employment
coordinator to implement its strategies.




                                                                                                  3
Strategy summary
The Cairns priority employment area is currently experiencing a cycle of high unemployment. This cycle is
expected to ease as the economy recovers later in 2010. This regional employment plan has a two-pronged
approach to:
1. identify goals and strategies to maximise job opportunities, ensuring job seekers are best positioned to
   access these opportunities and addresses skill shortages
2. build on the response of the Queensland Government and Australian Government to the Advance
   Cairns ‘New Deal’ proposal.
The regional employment plan addresses high unemployment in the short term then shifts emphasis to
skills development and workforce planning in the medium to long term as the economy improves. This
approach aligns with the Advance Cairns ‘New Deal’ proposal for the Cairns priority employment area that
identifies relief (short term), recovery (medium term) and reform (long term) as phases of rescue and
intervention from the effects of the economic downturn. Appropriate communication strategies support
each phase of the plan.
The short-term strategies in this plan include maximising job opportunities and ensuring that local job
seekers can take advantage of them. This involves working closely with the business sector to maximise job
creation opportunities as a result of government investment and the Nation Building – Economic Stimulus
Plan. Connecting job seekers to these opportunities through local employment service providers is another
key focus area.
Strategies will be achieved in close partnership with many stakeholders in the region, including the Keep
Cairns Working Advisory Committee. In the medium to longer term, the plan concentrates on industry-
based workforce planning strategies with a strong focus on exploiting identified growth industries in the
priority employment area. Industry-specific workshops will be held for sectors with the greatest potential
for growth in the region, including industries that help diversify the economic base of the region. Key
industry bodies, major employers, training and employment service providers and government will
participate in workforce planning workshops to develop strategies designed to prepare a skilled labour
force for emerging opportunities created through growth in the sector.
Both the state and Australian governments have announced packages of specific support to the Cairns
priority employment area to address some of the issues raised in the Advance Cairns ‘New Deal’.
The state government’s response, Cairns’ Economic Future: A Plan for Jobs and the Economy 2009–2011,
was delivered by the Queensland Premier in November 2009. Initiatives announced include:

   the construction of a cruise ship terminal at Trinity Wharf
   a combined state government and Australian Government funded project for the construction of a
    marine college, including the installation of a marine craft training simulator
   upgrades to sewerage and water treatment plants for Cassowary Coast and Tablelands Regional
    Councils
   the appointment of a special trade representative to develop business opportunities with Papua New
    Guinea

   the development of an events strategy for Cairns.
The Australian Government’s response, Keep Cairns Working, was delivered by the Prime Minister in
December 2009. The package covered six key areas:
   supporting tourism by offering foreign airlines greater access to major gateways if those airlines stop
    over in Cairns and offering foreign airlines more opportunities to fly from Cairns to nearby countries
    such as New Zealand and the Pacific islands

                                                                                                       4
   providing tax help to small businesses

   fast tracking the Government’s Nation Building – Economic Stimulus Plan projects, including the
    construction of 260 Social Housing properties
   driving regional development through the construction of the Cairns Institute at James Cook University
   supporting local jobs through a Keep Australia Working Jobs Expo
   providing 500 training places through the Productivity Places Program and offering incentives to
    encourage apprenticeships.
The strategies and goals in this regional employment plan build on the opportunities provided through
government assistance. It identifies the employment, job creation and regional capacity challenges and
opportunities for the region, and details a range of goals and specific strategies to address these. The four
key goals are:

   ensuring that local businesses, local job seekers, apprentices and trainees access jobs resulting from the
    Nation Building – Economic Stimulus Plan and other job creation and retention programs
   ensuring that Indigenous job seekers access local employment opportunities

   increasing the recruitment of apprentices and trainees and ensuring that youth employment
    opportunities are maximised
   ensuring that the Cairns priority employment area has a skilled workforce to meet growth industry
    needs.




                                                                                                        5
Profile of the Cairns priority employment area
Overview
The Cairns priority employment area encompasses the Regional Council areas of Cairns, Tablelands,
Cassowary Coast and Yarrabah. The population of the priority employment area has been steadily
increasing and is now approximately 237 000. Evidence suggests this growth rate has slowed over the past
year as a result of the economic slowdown, although it is expected to accelerate once the economy picks
up.
The average population growth rate of the region has been higher than the Queensland average. The
growth rate for Cairns City was 4.1 per cent in 2007–08 and dropped to 3.3 per cent in 2008–09. The
growth rate for Far North Queensland was 2.6 per cent in 2008–9.1


Figure 1: Cairns priority employment area




The region has been hard hit by the economic slowdown resulting from the global recession and the
subsequent reduction in international visitor numbers to the region. The overdependence on the tourism
industry for economic prosperity has left the region vulnerable to boom and bust cycles. Other factors have
also had negative impacts on the tourism and hospitality industry. These include the economic slowdown in
Japan, cancellation of regular airline services into Cairns (international and domestic), the high Australian
dollar, the H1N1 (swine flu) pandemic and a reduction in the number of backpackers seeking casual work
due to lack of job opportunities in the region.



1
    Cummings Economics in ABS Cat 3218.0


                                                                                                      6
A reduction in commodity prices has had an impact, although this is now reversing. A temporary decline in
demand for raw materials that saw the mining sector put off large numbers of workers also had an impact.
The closure of two large Cairns construction companies, Hedley and CMC Cairns Pty Ltd, in 2009 had a
significant effect on unemployment in the region, resulting in large-scale redundancies of construction
workers and apprentices. There has also been a significant reduction in the number of commercial and
multi-dwelling construction projects commencing in the region over the past 12 months, compounded by a
slowdown in general building activity.
A large engineering company, AIMTEK, trading as North Queensland Engineering Australia, closed its
marine engineering division in September 2009 after losing a major contract, resulting in large-scale job
losses.
However, several large government projects, including the upgrade of the Cairns Base Hospital,
reconstruction of the Lotus Glen Correctional Centre and major refurbishment of the Cairns Domestic
Airport, combined with significant increases to the first home buyer’s grant, helped cushion the effects of
the downturn on the construction industry.
Nonetheless, the closure of major Cairns companies had a significant impact on business confidence in the
region. The unemployment rate in the priority employment area has increased significantly over the past
12 months. In April 2010 the unemployment rate for the Cairns priority employment area stood at
11.7 per cent, the highest of any priority employment area and well above the April seasonally adjusted
national unemployment rate of 5.4 per cent. The youth unemployment rate in the priority employment
area stood at 17.5 per cent in April 2010, significantly above the comparable national average (11.7 per
cent).
The region has also recorded a sharp rise in the number of unemployment benefit recipients, up by
73.7 per cent, which is well above the average increase for Australia as a whole (44 per cent).2
Figure 2: Unemployment rates and participation rates for the Cairns priority employment area

                                                                            71.2
                                                                                                 Ca i rns
                                                                                   65.4
                                                                                                 Aus tra l i a




                                                     17.5
                            11.7                            11.7
                                   5.4



                       Unempl oyment ra te Youth unempl oyment Pa rtici pa tion ra te (%)
                              (%)                ra te (%)



Source: ABS Labour Force, Australia, Detailed – Electronic Delivery April 2010 (Cat No. 6291.0.55.001) and DEEWR administrative
data (bluebook database). Unemployment rate data are three month averages of original estimates, while youth data are 12-
month averages of original data. The priority employment area of Cairns is approximated by the ABS Labour Force Region of Far
North.
Indigenous people represent 38 per cent of unemployed people in the priority employment area.



2
    DEEWR administrative data (bluebook database).


                                                                                                                          7
The largest employers in the region are the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors, industries that typically
employ a casual and part-time labour force.
In terms of skills and education levels, the Cairns priority employment area has:

   a higher than state average percentage of the population who did not attend school or who report
    Year 8 or below as their last year of attendance

   a lower than state average percentage of the population who achieved Year 11 or 12 or equivalent
   a lower than state average achievement of bachelor degrees or higher

   a higher than state average achievement in certificate-level qualifications, indicating a focus on entry to
    industry-level qualifications (as reported in the ABS 2006 Census).
Across the four Regional Council areas of Cairns, Tablelands, Cassowary Coast and Yarrabah, significant
differences in educational attainment can be seen. Cairns generally has a higher educational achievement
rate which lifts the overall percentages of the region.
Factors that influence education participation and achievement for people in the Cassowary Coast,
Tablelands and Yarrabah regions include: the lack of regular public transport across the Tablelands area and
between council areas; and the need to relocate to access tertiary education opportunities.
Nextstep 2009, a report on the destinations of those who completed Year 12 from 2008 in Queensland,
shows that Indigenous school leavers who have completed Year 12 across Far North Queensland are less
likely to attend university, more likely to engage in vocational programs and more likely to still be seeking
work some months after completing school than their non-Indigenous counterparts.


Community amenity
The Cairns Regional Council is currently preparing a business case for improving amenities of the region and
adding another dimension for the tourism industry, for example the construction and ongoing running of a
cultural precinct. This will include an Indigenous museum, art and other cultural displays and a significant
upgrade to an old and run-down port area. It will also further support the capability of the city to attract
international and domestic delegations and host major conferences.

The region provides an ideal base to support a mobile workforce for the mining industry. The community
amenity aspects of the region include access to quality education, affordable home ownership or leasing,
an easy-going lifestyle, safe environment and easy access to all major cities by direct air travel.

Emerging opportunities
Although unemployment remains high, there are emerging signs of recovery and business is more
optimistic about the economy.
Tourism
Hotel bookings were low in the first half of 2010, although tourism relating to Chinese New Year provided a
short-term boost for the hospitality industry early in 2010. The number of airline seats into Cairns will
increase progressively in 2010 when Jetstar resumes cancelled services between Japan and Australia. More
domestic and international seats will come into Cairns later in the year. The industry is expecting improved
conditions in the second half of 2010.
Construction
The Government’s Nation Building – Economic Stimulus Plan projects will have a positive impact on the
construction sector with construction activity projected to grow after the wet season.




                                                                                                         8
Approximately half of the Building the Education Revolution Stage 1 projects and all of the Building the
Education Revolution Stage 2 projects will commence progressively from June 2010 and are expected to
increase markedly later in 2010.
There are over 1100 Social Housing projects, including construction and maintenance, that will be
progressively rolled out in 2010. While some projects have commenced, building activity will pick up as the
year progresses.
Successful developers are progressively being determined and listed on the Nation Building – Economic
Stimulus Plan website.
A major Remote Indigenous Housing program for Queensland will see the construction of new housing and
the upgrade of existing stock in remote Indigenous communities in Queensland. The project is to be
managed out of Cairns, valued at $1.16 billion and carried out over a 10-year period. The vast majority of
the remote Indigenous communities in Queensland are located in Cape York and the Torres Strait. Cairns is
a gateway to these regions and is in an ideal position to provide construction expertise, support and labour
for this program.
Other Government-funded construction projects, including the cruise ship terminal, the marine college, the
new TAFE wing, the Cairns Institute at James Cook University, the general practice super clinic and the
upgrade of the Bruce Highway, are all expected to provide additional work in the construction sector later
in 2010.
Since March 2010, building applications lodged with council planning authorities have slowly trended
upwards. Commercial development and multi-dwelling projects remain at very low levels.
Mining
Several new projects, some significant, are emerging and will provide for a major expansion in this industry.
Rio Tinto has commenced recruiting for its Weipa operations. There is some possibility that other bauxite
mining operations could start up in Cape Your. There are substantial ore deposits concentrated in the Old
Mapoon area and Aurukun region. Major infrastructure projects, like road construction, would support the
mining operation.
Several smaller mining operations within the region are indicating a likely expansion of existing operations
subject to continuing improvements of base metal prices.
New liquefied natural gas projects in Papua New Guinea and coal projects in the Galilee Basin present
opportunities for the Cairns economy and job seekers. Advance Cairns and the Cairns Chamber of
Commerce are examining the potential for supply of labour and services and are leading trade delegations
to Papua New Guinea, selling the region’s capacity to service the mining sector and presenting the
liveability of the region as a support base for families of a mobile workforce.
Economic diversification
The need to diversify the Cairns economic base and insulate it from boom and bust cycles, which result
from the overdependence on a few industries, is acknowledged by the community at large. The
construction of the Cairns Institute and the development of tropical knowledge and research expertise at
James Cook University will support diversification.
Research by Advance Cairns indicates that there are also emerging opportunities for the Cairns region in
tropical expertise, the maritime industry, aviation, creative industries, food production and value adding,
education, renewable energies and home-based and micro to small business opportunities.




                                                                                                       9
Key challenges
Employment
The priority employment area has high levels of unemployment for young people and for Indigenous job
seekers.
The strategies outlined under Goals 2 and 3 aim to address this issue.


Economic development
The priority employment area needs to diversify its economic base to ensure greater resilience to economic
downturns in the future. A number of industry sectors have the potential for growth in the region. These
industries will help insulate the economy’s over-reliance on tourism. The industries that have potential for
growth include health, community and aged care, mining and resources, tropical expertise, aviation,
maritime, education, creative industries, food production and value adding and renewable energy.
The strategies under Goals 2, 3 and 4 aim to partially address these issues.


Skills development
There is a need to support the activities of the Cairns Institute and increase the knowledge base around
tropical expertise. Tropical expertise is part of the fabric of Far North Queensland and it should form an
essential part of any strategy that aims to foster sustainable economic, social and community growth
across the region. Australia is one of the few developed nations in the tropical zone and is a leader in
tropical knowledge, skills and services. Far North Queensland has the natural competitive advantage to
deliver services and products based on the special expertise workers have after decades of living and
working in the tropical environment. The Australian Tropical Expertise Consortium currently has 232
members across Queensland and is continuing to grow. The consortium and its brand are gaining significant
support across Australia in managing contractors who specialise in international development business.

The strategies under Goal 3 aim to address this issue.
The number of new apprentice commencements has declined over the past two years. The challenge is to
improve the level of apprenticeship commencements, particularly in the growth industries, and to increase
completion rates. Training places available in the Cairns priority employment area through the Productivity
Places Program and incentives through the Apprenticeship Kickstart package provide opportunities to
improve these numbers.
The strategies under Goal 3 aim to address this issue.
The West Australian mining sector forecasts skills and labour shortages and is increasingly looking to other
parts of Australia to meet its labour force requirements. The West Australian Chamber of Commerce has
estimated that Western Australia could fall 150 000 workers short of the projected workforce needed in all
sectors by 2017. It will target other parts of the country to fill this gap. While the Cairns priority
employment area is ideally positioned to take advantage of this opportunity, this could lead to a potential
loss of skilled labour from the Queensland mining sector, which is also expected to grow.
The strategies under Goals 3 and 4 aim to address this issue.

Workforce and education profile
High school completion rates are lower than the state average and the disengagement of young people in
some regions of the priority employment area correlates with higher levels of youth unemployment.




                                                                                                     10
The challenge is to increase high school completion rates across the priority employment area, particularly
in regions with high unemployment. The challenges are to develop and deliver a series of projects to
engage young people in active learning that connects them to genuine employment pathways and
opportunities.
The strategies under Goal 3 aim to address this issue.
There is also a challenge to increase the professional skills base of the workforce in the priority
employment area.
The strategies under Goals 3 and 4 aim to address this issue.

Transport
The broader Cairns priority employment area lacks an effective public transport system that would support
the movement of workers to employment opportunities within the region. The planned upgrade of the
Bruce Highway will assist in easing congestion problems and improve transport links in the area.

While addressing the fundamental issue of infrastructure to support transport is beyond the scope of this
plan, opportunities to put in place local and specific project-based solutions will be explored during the
implementation of strategies under Goal 4.




                                                                                                      11
Issues and needs of employers
The following issues and needs were identified at the Keep Australia Working Forum on
25 September 2009, through direct consultation with business and by the Keep Cairns Working Advisory
Committee.


Construction
Due to the economic slowdown there has been a reduction in multi-dwelling construction projects and the
closure of two major construction companies has resulted in other construction companies having difficulty
accessing finance. Potentially, the construction industry will compete for skilled labour with the mining
industry as the economy begins to expand.
The declining rates of apprenticeship commencements will contribute to a lack of skilled tradespeople in
the region in the future. This means education institutions and Job Services Australia providers will need to
locate a ready source of labour, as much of the workforce has relocated to find employment due to the
downturn.
The strategies under Goals 3 and 4 aim to partially address these issues.


Mining
The mining industry has experienced reduced demand and lower commodity prices as a result of the global
recession. However, significant projects planned for Queensland, Papua New Guinea and Western Australia
indicate the industry will experience rapid growth in the short to medium term. This will contribute to
increased demand for specific skill sets.

To cope with the forecast rapid growth, the industry needs a skilled labour force that lives locally, can be
accommodated locally or can fly-in and fly-out, and an effective freight and aviation network.
The Cairns region is well placed to be an effective service delivery site that can support the mining sector
both with labour resources, consumables and services.
The strategies under Goal 4 aim to partially address these issues.


Tourism
As a result of the global recession, the tourism industry has experienced significantly reduced tourist visitor
numbers. The high Australian dollar, reduction in flights to Japan and other internal destinations and
outbreaks of the H1N1 pandemic have further compounded the issues.
The tourism industry has identified that further diversification, a trained workforce combined with a
coordinated approach to marketing, and the identification of new markets will provide a buffer against the
industry’s vulnerability to national and international economic variables.
The strategies under Goals 3 and 4 aim to partially address these issues.


Tropical expertise
Job opportunities in tropical expertise are emerging. The Far North Queensland and Gulf regions are the
leading marine industry regions in Northern Australia, employing twice as many people as the next largest
regional marine sector. Local vessel operations (fishing and tourism) are estimated to employ a workforce
of close to 3000 people. These opportunities are not yet fully capitalised on or understood.




                                                                                                        12
Aviation
The industry has identified the need to increase airline services into Cairns by expanding existing aviation
resources. The industry believes this could be achieved by developing stronger export links to the Asia–
Pacific region, providing fly-in/fly-out services for mining workers and supporting Cairns as a service hub
and business gateway to trade with Papua New Guinea and Guam.

The Australian Government is working with the state government to encourage foreign airlines to access
major capital gateways via a first stopover in Cairns and also to provide direct flights from Cairns to nearby
countries in the South Pacific and New Zealand. This has the potential to boost tourism and create
significant employment opportunities.



This plan focuses on strategies that the local employment coordinator and Keep Cairns Working Advisory
Committee can implement to address, or partially address, these issues at the local level.
Issues related to the broader economic and social development of the priority employment area will be
taken up with the Regional Development Australia Committee and fed into its planning processes.




                                                                                                        13
Goals and strategies
Goal 1: Ensuring that local businesses, local job seekers, apprentices and trainees
access jobs resulting from the Nation Building—Economic Stimulus Plan and other
job creation and retention programs
The Cairns priority employment area has funding of $491.8 million allocated to infrastructure, Defence and
Social Housing, Building the Education Revolution and Teaching and Learning Capital projects.
See Appendix A for more details.
Strategies:

Short term (3–12 months)

   Identify all new major initiatives and projects, both in government and the private sector,
    which will offer employment opportunities for job seekers in the Cairns priority employment
    area. The local employment coordinator will work with government departments and
    businesses to provide this information on a regular basis.
   Assist local Job Services Australia providers and other employment service providers to adopt
    a coordinated approach in accessing project managers and contractors for major projects.
   Use the results of the Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences to work with employers
    and employment service providers to increase job opportunities for local people.
   Actively promote and support the Business Liaison Association’s Skills Expo to maximise
    exhibitor support and student attendance.
   Work with relevant industry bodies, such as Construction Skills Queensland, to ensure that
    government-funded projects are hiring the agreed number of local apprentices.
   Work with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and other
    stakeholders to conduct a second Keep Australia Working Jobs Expo for Cairns.
   Work with Cassowary Coast and Tablelands regional councils to conduct community-based
    skills and employment expos in each region.
   Connect Jobs Fund projects with Job Services Australia providers, employers and registered
    training organisations in the region to maximise employment and training outcomes by
    providing information, support and assistance where required.




Stakeholders: local employment coordinator; Job Services Australia providers; Cassowary Coast and
Tablelands regional councils; Construction Skills Queensland; Keep Cairns Working Advisory Committee.




                                                                                                    14
Goal 2: Ensuring that Indigenous job seekers access local employment
opportunities
Strategies:

Short term (3–12 months)
   Ensure that Indigenous job seekers are included in the strategies outlined in the other goals.
   Work with Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council to conduct a community-based skills and
    employment expo to link Indigenous job seekers to available jobs with local employers.
   Maximise community awareness and support for the Former Origin Greats Expo. The Expo will
    target indigenous students, youth and job seekers. The local employment coordinator will
    follow up with employers who participate in the Expo to identify job outcomes.
   In collaboration with stakeholders, including industry and registered training organisations,
    negotiate industry-specific training opportunities for Indigenous youth, with the aim of
    developing young Indigenous leaders and ‘champions’ across industries.
   Work with the Indigenous Reference Group to expand employment opportunities and
    outcomes for Indigenous job seekers.



Stakeholders: local employment coordinator; Indigenous Reference Group; Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire
Council; Australian Employment Covenant; Job Services Australia providers; Advance Cairns; regional
councils and industry bodies; Queensland and Australian government departments.




                                                                                                     15
Goal 3: Increasing the recruitment of apprentices and trainees and ensuring that
youth employment opportunities are maximised
Strategies:

Short term (3–12 months)
   Work with Job Services Australia providers to conduct monthly or bi-monthly employment
    drives and publicise the outcomes.
   Follow up with employers who participated in the Keep Australia Working Jobs Expo to identify
    job outcomes.

Medium to long term (12–18+ months)
   Develop and implement a campaign to increase the uptake of apprentices and trainees in the
    priority employment area and ensure support is provided to maximise the likelihood of success
    for individuals.
   Build on employment opportunities from the construction phase of the Cairns Institute.
   Work with James Cook University to publicise the establishment of the Cairns Institute and
    position Cairns as a hub of professional knowledge in the area of tropical expertise.
   Work with James Cook University, business, community and the government sector to
    examine ways of developing, attracting and retaining professional skills in the region.
   Work with the School Business Community Partnership Brokers program to build partnerships
    to support young people to attain Year 12 or equivalent qualifications.



Stakeholders: local employment coordinator; peak industry bodies; training sector; Keep Cairns Working
Advisory Group; Job Services Australia providers; employment services providers; James Cook University;
Vocational Partnerships Group Inc; local business.




                                                                                                    16
Goal 4: Ensuring that the Cairns priority employment area has a skilled workforce
to meet growth industry needs
Strategies:

Medium to long term (12–18+ months)
   Identify opportunities to maximise the benefits of the Australian Government’s investment in Skills for
    Sustainable Growth. This includes promoting the availability of the up to 39 000 additional training
    places in sectors facing high skills demands and encouraging the take up of apprentices and trainees
    through the Apprentice Kickstart Extension.
   Work with industries that have the greatest potential for growth to deliver employment outcomes for
    job seekers and target skill building.
   Work with Job Services Australia providers, other employment service providers and industry bodies to
    establish the numbers and characteristics of skilled workers available to support these industries in the
    region.
   Conduct workforce planning workshops for each identified industry sector to establish labour skilling
    requirements and develop high-level labour force strategies.
   Set up industry-specific employment reference groups, such as mining, to develop and refine labour
    force strategies for the region.
   Work with state and federal government agencies and contracted training providers to ensure that
    training resources and programs support the industry-based labour force strategies.


Stakeholders: local employment coordinator; relevant government departments; Job Services Australia
providers; other employment services providers; Department of Education, Employment and Workplace
Relations; industry bodies.



Case study: construction industry workforce planning
The local employment coordinator hosted a construction industry workforce planning workshop in April
2010. This workshop highlighted present and future construction projects in the region and identified skills
necessary for the industry to survive and grow. Participants came up with several ideas and initiatives
which will help the sector develop and maintain a skilled base of workers.
One of the initial goals to be addressed is the need to increase the number of qualified tradespeople
resident in the region. The local employment coordinator is working with industry organisations and Job
Services Australia providers to engage with experienced construction industry workers to assist local
tradespeople to complete trade qualifications using the Recognition of Prior Learning process and tailored
training.




                                                                                                      17
Outcomes
Outcomes for the Cairns priority employment area regional employment plan
The local employment coordinator will work with the Keep Cairns Working Advisory Committee to deliver
this regional employment plan.
The outcomes of this plan will be used to diversify employment opportunities for the priority employment
area and strengthen the industry base. Broader types of employment will reduce the area’s vulnerability to
future downturns in the economy and help the area recover quickly from the current global recession.
Achievement against these outcomes will be reported on a quarterly basis, and shown by:

   qualitative evidence including local data from the local employment coordinator and the Keep Cairns
    Working Advisory Committee
   case studies.
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations will take a snapshot of the priority
employment area each quarter to determine how they are tracking against the key labour market
indicators of:
   unemployment rate

   youth unemployment rate
   proportion of population on income support

   increase in unemployment benefit recipients
   participation rate
   apprenticeship commencements.


Outcome 1: Employment and business opportunities available through stimulus package projects are
maximised
The strategies under Goal 1 aim to support this outcome.
Outcome 2: Increased employment and training outcomes achieved through stronger links between
stakeholders
The strategies under Goals 2, 3, and 4 aim to support this outcome.
Outcome 3: Increased employment and training opportunities for youth and Indigenous people
The strategies under Goals 2 and 3 aim to support this outcome.
Outcome 4: Retrenched workers assisted into new employment or training
The strategies under Goals 3 and 4 aim to support this outcome.
Outcome 5: Improved opportunities for skills development with a particular focus on filling skills gaps in
key industries
The strategies under Goals 3 and 4 aim to support this outcome.




                                                                                                    18
Appendix A—existing initiatives

Nation Building—Economic Stimulus Plan funding allocation for the Cairns priority
employment area
The data contained in the table below relates to estimates of allocated funding for the region as at
11 May 2010. For more detailed, up-to-date information on projects within the priority employment area
and at the postcode level please refer to the Economic Stimulus website:
www.economicstimulusplan.gov.au. The information on this site is updated regularly.
    Stimulus Measure                                                                           Projects         Allocation (millions)
    Education projects1                                                                                   749                   $323.2


    Housing projects2                                                                                 1232                      $110.1


    Community Infrastructure projects                                                                     82                     $32.5


    Road and Rail projects3                                                                               444                    $26.0


    Total                                                                                             2107                      $491.8
1
  Includes Building the Education Revolution and Teaching and Learning Capital Fund for VET.
2
  Includes Social Housing Repairs and Maintenance, new Social Housing and Defence Housing.
3
  Includes Boom Gates for Rail Crossings Program and Black Spot Program.
4
  May include projects shared with an electorate outside of the priority employment area.


‘New Deal’—Advance Cairns
Advance Cairns, a peak body representing business and community organisations in the Cairns priority
employment area, has put together a proposal to government for a rescue package for Cairns. This
package, ‘New Deal’, comprises three phases of relief, recovery and reform. Several projects and
interventions are listed under each phase. The proposal requests government assistance to reduce the
effects of the economic slowdown, which has had a serious impact on the economy and unemployment in
the region. The activities underpinning this plan are consistent with the existing Advance Cairns New Deal
2009–2011 proposal.

Australian Tax Office Taskforce
In December 2009, the Prime Minister announced that a taskforce from the Australian Tax Office would be
sent to Cairns to work with businesses experiencing difficulty meeting their taxation requirements due to
the downturn. In January 2010, Australian Tax Office specialists commenced operations in Cairns and have
been working with individual businesses to tailor Pay As You Go and Goods and Services Tax payment
arrangements to minimise hardship and meet business-specific requirements. This is expected to provide
some economic relief to businesses and assist in retaining existing workforces.

Cairns’ Economic Future: a plan for jobs and the economy 2009–2011
A state government response to the ‘New Deal’ proposal, Cairns’ Economic Future: a plan for jobs and the
economy, was delivered by the Queensland Premier in November 2009. The plan included $11.5 million to
redevelop the Trinity Wharf cruise liner terminal, $2.5 million for an inshore craft training simulator, $42.2

                                                                                                                           19
million to upgrade water and sewerage plants for Cassowary Coast and Tablelands regional councils, the
appointment of a special trade representative for Papua New Guinea and the development of a specific
events strategy to attract major events to Cairns.
The plan responds to the impacts of the global recession and represents $116 million of new and
accelerated spending to take immediate action supporting 760 new jobs in the region and relieving
economic stress wherever possible. It seeks to strengthen Cairns as a destination and gateway to the world.

Employment services providers group
The local employment coordinator initiated this regular forum for strategic discussion of
employment-related issues for the Cairns priority employment area. The local employment coordinator will
facilitate a collaborative approach with Job Services Australia providers to support key industries in the
region. The group will coordinate promotion of the local labour force to major employers, particularly in
the area of the Nation Building—Economic Stimulus Plan funding projects.

Jobs Assist
This Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation initiative aims to
assist small businesses to review operating structures and strategies and put in place survival and growth
strategies if they are experiencing difficulties. So far, approximately 200 businesses in the Cairns priority
employment area have been approved for assistance under this program. The program will assist these
businesses to retain their current workforces and will be complemented by initiatives within the Cairns
regional employment plan.

Jobs Fund
Eight projects have been allocated funding under the Jobs Fund:
     Skill 360 will construct a community education centre in Cairns
     Queensland Police Citizens Youth Welfare Association will build an extension to the Police Citizens
      Youth Club
     Group Training Association Queensland and Northern Territory will enable out-of-trade apprentices
      who were affected by the downturn to complete their training
     Mission Beach Artists Inc. will create or retain jobs by constructing a community arts centre
     Bamangu Bubu Ngadimunku Inc will construct a walking track in the Wet Tropics World Heritage
      Area
     Choice Australia Management Ltd will create local jobs for the Green Choice Project
     Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council will create local jobs for the Yarrabah Energy Efficiency project
     Djarragun College Ltd and Djarragun Enterprises will deliver the Djarragun Construction and
      Djarragun Yard Maintenance projects.

Keep Cairns Working
An Australian Government finding package of assistance for Cairns, delivered by the Prime Minister, the
Hon. Kevin Rudd MP, in December 2009. The package covered six key areas:

   supporting tourism by offering foreign airlines greater access to major gateways that stopover in
    Cairns—for example, offering overseas airlines the chance to provide flights from Cairns to nearby
    countries such as New Zealand and the Pacific islands
   providing tax help to small businesses



                                                                                                        20
   fast tracking the Government’s Nation Building—Economic Stimulus Plan projects, including the
    construction of 260 social housing properties

   driving regional development through the construction of the Cairns Institute at James Cook University
   supporting local jobs through a Keep Australia Working Jobs Expo
   providing 500 training places through the Productivity Places Program and offering incentives to
    encourage apprenticeships.

Regional Development Australia
Regional Development Australia is working collaboratively with various agencies on economic and social
development goals. Stakeholders from the Keep Cairns Working Advisory Committee will work closely with
Regional Development Australia on issues affecting the Cairns priority employment area. The local
employment coordinator will attend Regional Development Australia meetings and work to integrate
Regional Development Australia goals and Keep Cairns Working employment strategies into the regional
employment plan.

Atherton Tablelands Skills Formation Strategy
The Atherton Tablelands Skills Formation Strategy, led by the Queensland Department of Education,
Training and the Arts, provides a framework for an industry reference group. The reference group
representatives include community and industry leaders from across the Tablelands region industries. The
group works with government, the local council and other community groups to analyse and address the
reasons for local workforce issues, such as skills shortages.
The local employment coordinator will continue to engage with the Atherton Tablelands Skills Formation
Strategy to ensure local workforce development strategies are supported by the Cairns regional
employment plan, and that a local skilled labour force is available to take up emerging employment
opportunities in the region.


Rapid Response Team
The Rapid Response Team is led by the Queensland Department of Employment, Economic Development
and Innovation and is a group of key government and industry representatives that responds to the closure
of businesses in the Cairns priority employment area.




                                                                                                       21

				
DOCUMENT INFO
Shared By:
Categories:
Tags:
Stats:
views:8
posted:4/21/2012
language:English
pages:21