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									Slide 1
Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences
Central Victoria Employment Priority Area
Ballarat


Slide 2
The Central Victoria Priority Employment Area includes the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of:
Ararat (RC)
Ballarat (C)
Central Goldfields (S)
Greater Bendigo (C)
Hepburn (S)
Moorabool (S)
Mount Alexander (S)
Northern Grampians (S)
Pyrenees (S)


The Ballarat area includes the Local Government Areas (LGAs) of:
Ararat (RC)
Ballarat (C)
Northern Grampians (S)
Hepburn (S)
Moorabool (S)
Pyrenees (S)


The Ballarat area covers 80% of the Central Highlands-Wimmera Labour Force Region (LFR).
Source: ABS (ASGC), 2006 LGA boundaries


Slide 3
The estimated resident population in Ballarat increased by 7.6% between 2003 and 2008, which is
lower than the increase for the Central Victoria Priority Employment Area as a whole (7.8%), Victoria
(9.0%), and Australia (8.9%). The Moorabool LGA (10.1%) and Ballarat LGA (9.8%) recorded higher
than average levels of growth while the Northern Grampians LGA recorded negative growth (-0.3%).
           LGA                              Population Growth (2003-2008)
           Moorabool (S)                    10.1%
           Ballarat (C)                     9.8%
           Pyrenees (S)                     4.4%
           Hepburn (S)                      3.3%
          Ararat (RC)                         2.1%
          Northern Grampians (S)              -0.3%
          (Source: Estimated Resident Population, June 2008 & June 2003).


The median age for the Ballarat area (39) was higher than the median age for Victoria and Australia
(37). Once again, there was some variation among LGAs in the area:
          LGA                                 Median Age
          Ballarat                            37
          Ararat                              43
          Moorabool                           37
          Hepburn                             44
          Pyrenees                            45
          Northern Grampians                  42
          (Source: ABS 2006 Census of Population and Housing)


As at March 2009, the unemployment rate for Central Victoria (6.7%) and Ballarat (7.0%) was higher
than the State and National average (4.7% and 4.6% respectively).


The participation rate is the proportion of the population which is either working or actively looking
for work. At the time of the 2006 Census, the participation rate for the Central Victoria Priority
Employment Area (60.8%) and Ballarat (61.4%) was lower compared with the State (64.4%) and
national (64.6%) averages. All but one of the six LGAs in Ballarat had a lower than average
participation rate compared with Australia overall.
          LGA                                 Participation Rate
          Pyrenees (S)                        54.1%
          Ararat (RC)                         56.9%
          Hepburn (S)                         58.1%
          Northern Grampians (S)              59.2%
          Ballarat (C)                        62.1%
          Moorabool (S)                       66.0%
          (Source: ABS 2006 Census of Population and Housing)
Slide 4
Ballarat experinced a steep increase in the unemployment rate after the onset of the global recession.
The Ballarat area also has a high proportion of the working age population on Centrelink benefits
(24%). In addition, the Ballarat area recorded an increase in the number of unemployment beneficiary
recipients, up by 26 per cent since September 2008.
The Ballarat area is heavily reliant on Manufacturing (12% of total employment), Retail Trade (12%)
and Construction (8%) which are industries that are historically sensitive to an economic downturn.


The working age population in the Ballarat area has lower than average levels of educational
attainment, suggesting that workers in the area could face significant difficulties adjusting to any
industry restructuring or job losses that may occur as a result of the global recession.


Slide 5
80% of the population in the Central Highlands-Wimmera LFR reside in LGAs in the Ballarat area (these
LGAs are Ararat (RC), Ballarat (C), Hepburn (S), Moorabool (S), Northern Grampians (S) and Pyrenees
(S)). The remainder of the LFR is made up of the LGAs of Hindmarsh (S), Horsham (RC), West Wimmera
(S) and Yarriambiack (S).


Between June 2008 and February 2009, the Central Highlands-Wimmera LFR experienced a steep
increase in the unemployment rate with the rate almost doubling from 4.1% to 7.9%.


In addition to the rise in unemployment, the economic downturn has seen a rise in
underemployment. Rather than a large decrease in employment there has been a reduction in hours
worked. As the labour market recovers, we may experience a jobless recovery because there may be
an increase in hours worked rather than an increase in employment.
(Source: ABS Labour Force Survey data (original data, 3 month averages for June 2008 and February
2009).


Slide 6
The DEEWR Small Area Labour Markets (SALM) data provides unemployment data by Statistical Local
Area (SLA). The Ballarat area is made up of the SLAs of Ararat (RC), Ballarat (C) – Central, Ballarat (C) -
Inner North, Ballarat (C) – North, Hepburn (S) – East, Hepburn (S) – West, Moorabool (S) - Bacchus
Marsh, Moorabool (S) – Ballan, Moorabool (S) – West, N. Grampians (S) - St Arnaud, N. Grampians (S)
– Stawell, Pyrenees (S) – North and Pyrenees (S) – South.


Overall, the unemployment rate as at March 2009 was higher in Ballarat (7.0%) compared Australia
(4.6%).
The unemployment rate in the region was driven up by extremely high unemployment in some SLAs –
the highest being Ballarat – South (8.5%) and Ballarat – Inner North (7.9%).
          SLA                                           Unemployment Rate
          Ballarat (C) - South                          8.5
          Ballarat (C) - Inner North                    7.9
          Pyrenees (S) - North                          7.7
          Hepburn (S) - East                          7.7
          Hepburn (S) - West                          7.5
          Ballarat (C) - Central                      7.4
          N. Grampians (S) - Stawell                  7.0
          Ararat (RC)                                 6.4
          Pyrenees (S) - South                        6.2
          N. Grampians (S) - St Arnaud                5.4
          Moorabool (S) - Ballan                      5.4
          Moorabool (S) - West                        4.8
          Moorabool (S) - Bacchus Marsh               4.5
          Ballarat (C) - North                        4.3


(Source: SALM data, March 2009)


Slide 7
Almost 1 in 4 people (24%) of working age (15-64 years) in the Ballarat area are in receipt of a
Centrelink benefit. In the Moorabool LGA, almost 2 in every 5 people of working age are in receipt of
a Centrelink benefit (37% compared with 17% for Australia).


The most common benefits in the Ballarat area are Disability Support Pension (33% of Centrelink
recipients), Newstart Allowance (19%) and Parenting Payments (17%).
(Source: DEEWR administrative data, September 2009).


Slide 8
Employment by industry
Another indicator of labour market vulnerability is a high concentration of employment in industries
that are sensitive to economic downturns, such as the Manufacturing, Retail Trade and Construction
industries.


Almost 1 in 3 workers (32%) in the Ballarat area are employed in these vulnerable industries.
(Source: 2006 Census of Population and Housing)


Slide 9
Source: ABS Labour Force Survey, RQ1 datacube, Central Highlands-Wimmera LFR 4 quarter average
to August 2009. The Ballarat area covers 80% of the Central Highlands-Wimmera Labour Force
Region.
This table shows the change in employment for the top 5 employing industries in the Central
Highlands-Wimmera LFR over the 12 months to August 2009. In the Central Highlands-Wimmera LFR,
there was considerable increase in employment between August 2008 and August 2009 in both the
Education and Training (29%) and Health Care and Social Assistance (28%) industries.


Although industries such as Manufacturing, Retail Trade and Construction account for a large
proportion of the workforce, employment in these industries has declined in the last 12 months.
Between August 2008 and August 2009, employment in Retail Trade declined by 19%, Construction by
17% and Manufacturing by 3%.


Employment in Health Care and Social Assistance is expected to grow significantly in the future. An
ageing population, the continued demand for child care coupled with the growth of community and
home-based services and advances in medical technology are expected to increase the future
demand for health services.


DEEWR has projected employment in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry to grow at an
average rate of 3.0 per cent per annum, which equates to around 181 600 new jobs in the five years
to 2013-14. This figure includes lower skilled positions such as wardspeople, cleaners and gardeners
all of which have high levels of part-time employment. This compares with an average annual growth
rate of 1.0 per cent for all industries over the same period.
(source: http://www.skillsinfo.gov.au/skills/IndustryOutlooks)


Slide 10
The level of educational attainment is strongly linked with labour market performance and the ability
of a region (or its population) to respond flexibly to an economic shock. Accordingly, regions with
relatively low levels of educational attainment tend, on average, to be less flexible in the face of
economic slowdowns and face greater labour market difficulties. For example, upon retrenchment,
those with lower educational attainment will find it significantly more difficult to find subsequent
employment than their more highly skilled counterparts.


The proportion of the working age population in the Ballarat area who finished year 12 or equivalent
(38%) is lower compared with Victoria (49%) and Australia (47%).


The proportion of the working age population in the Ballarat area who had attained a Bachelor degree
or higher (14%) is also lower compared with Victoria (19%) and Australia (17%).


These figures suggest that education and training will be significant issues in helping the Ballarat area
to weather the global recession.
The proportion of the working age population in Pyrenees who completed year 12 and who attained a
Bachelor degree or higher was especially low.
LGA                          % WAP completed yr 12             % WAP attained Bachelor or higher
Pyrenees (S)                        28%                                 9%
Ararat (RC)                         31%                                 9%
Northern Grampians (S)              32%                                 9%
Moorabool (S)                       35%                                 12%
Hepburn (S)                         39%                                 16%
Ballarat (C)                        41%                                 16%
Source: ABS, 2006 Census data, place of usual residence.


Slide 11
These is a strong relationship between educational attainment and employment outcomes. For those
of working age (15-64) in the Ballarat area who completed year 12 but have no post school
qualifications, the unemployment rate was 9.2% at the time of the 2006 Census while for those who
had a Bachelor degree or higher the unemployment rate was 2.6%.


While it would be unrealistic for many jobseekers to complete a Bachelor degree, further training
such as Apprenticeships and other Certificate training could improve job seekers’ engagement in the
labour force. The unemployment rate for people who completed a Certificate level qualification was
5.0%, compared with 9.2% for those who completed year 12 but did not complete any post school
qualification. In addition, the participation rate was 85% for those who completed a Certificate level
qualification compared with 61% for those who completed year 12 but did not complete any post
school qualification.


There is also a strong relationship between educational attainment and income. Although young
people often choose to earn a wage rather than study, in the long term they will earn more by
becoming better qualified.


In addition, around three quarters of jobs growth is in jobs which require education and training – this
is a global trend.
Source: ABS, 2006 Census of Population and Housing.


Slide 12
Areas of socio-economic disadvantage
Source: Socio-economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), 2006, Table. 3 Local Government Areas (LGA) Index
of Relative Socio-economic Disadvantage (ABS cat. no. 2033.0.55.001)
The Australian Bureau of Statistics compiles Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas (SEIFA), which
summarise aspects of the socio-economic conditions of people living in an area. The index of Socio-
Economic Disadvantage is derived from Census data, such as low income, low educational attainment,
unemployment and dwellings with no car, among other things.


The Pyrenees LGA recorded a SEIFA score of 3 which means it is one of the 30% most disadvantaged
areas in Australia, while Moorabool LGA recorded a SEIFA score of 8 which means it is in the top 30%.


Slide 13
In spite of the global recession, are there still job opportunities?
During September 2009, there were 50 627 job vacancies in Victoria. Over 20,000 were for lower
skilled positions.
These data are from the Internet Vacancies Index, which is based on vacancies newly lodged on four
online recruitment websites - SEEK, CareerOne, MyCareer and Australian JobSearch.
Although the number of vacancies is more than 40% lower than a year ago, the number of vacancies
increased by 8.2% between August and September 2009, indicating that the labour market may be
recovering.


Slide 14
The Central Victoria Priority Employment Area Survey of Employers’ Recruitment Experiences was
conducted during September 2009. The survey covered the LGAs of Ararat (RC), Ballarat (C), Hepburn
(S), Moorabool (S), Northern Grampians (S) and Pyrenees (S) which make up the Ballarat area.


A total of 339 employers were surveyed as part of the Central Victoria Priority Employment Area
survey, of which, 150 employers were surveyed as part of the Ballarat area.


Overall, a higher proportion of employers recruited (69%) in the Ballarat area compared with all
employers surveyed in Central Victoria (72%), who recruited in the 8 months to August 2009 (62%)
and who recruited in the 12 months to December 2008 (66%).


Almost half (49%) of the employers surveyed in the Ballarat area had recruited due to business
growth, while 79% of employers recruited due to staff turnover.


A smaller proportion of vacancies were unfilled (3.6%) compared with all businesses surveyed in the 8
months to August 2009 (4.1%) and the 12 months to December 2008 (11.1%).
Despite the low proportion of unfilled vacancies, 54% of employers in the Ballarat area reported that
recruitment was difficult. ‘Recruitment difficulty’ includes having to re-advertise, taking a long time to
fill a vacancy, or having to recruit someone who needs development.
Slide 15
This slide shows the occupations across the Ballarat area that employers considered difficult to fill.
The occupations fall across a range of skill levels and a range of industries. There are a number of
trades – Carpenters and Joiners and Motor Mechanics, which suggest there are opportunities for
apprenticeships.


Although there are a number of jobs that require a higher level of education (either higher VET (Cert
III/IV) or Bachelor Degree or higher), many of the occupations mentioned as difficult to fill are
medium to lower skill level jobs.


Slide 16
The average number of applicants per vacancy in the Central Victoria Priority Employment Area was
lower (8.0 applicants per vacancy) compared with all employers surveyed in the 8 months to August
2009 (10 applicants per vacancy), but considerably higher when compared with all employers
surveyed in the 12 months to December 2008 (5 applicants per vacancy).


In Central Victoria there was an unusually large pool of applicants for Machinery Operators and
Drivers vacancies (18.3 applicants) and Clerical and Administrative Workers vacancies (17.9
applicants).


Although there was a relatively large number of applicants in Central Victoria, the pool of suitable
applicants was much smaller, with 2.2 suitable applicants per vacancy. The number of suitable
applicants was lower than the average received by all employers surveyed in the 8 months to August
2009 (2.9 applicants) but higher than the average received by all employers surveyed in the 12
months to December 2008 (1.8 applicants per vacancy).


Of particular interest is the gap between the number of applicants and the number of suitable
applicants. In the Central Victoria Priority Employment Area, 3 out of every 4 applicants was
unsuitable for the job for which they applied. For some occupations, such as Clerical and
Administrative Workers, the gap is much wider.


Slide 17
57% of employers in the Ballarat area had one or more unsuitable applicants during their most recent
recruitment round, which is lower than the proportion for the whole Central Victoria Priority
Employment Area (64%).


Employers were asked the reasons why job seekers were considered unsuitable. The lack of work
experience was the single most common reason for applicant unsuitability as well as a lack of
qualifications or training. In addition, applicants having limited interest in the job were cited as
reasons applicants were unsuitable.


These results show the importance of work experience, education, training and employability skills for
job seekers, but also highlight the need to work with employers to understand their requirements and
expectations.


Slide 18
Employers in the Ballarat area were asked when recruiting, whether they placed more importance on
the applicant’s personal traits and qualities or on their technical skills and experience.


Of the employers surveyed in the Ballarat area, 39% stated that both technical skills and experience
and basic employability skills were equally important. A further 43% of employers considered
personal traits and qualities were more important whilst 18% rated technical skill and experience as
more important.


These survey results indicate that in today’s labour market, jobs seekers need to have both technical
or job-specific skills and basic employability skills.


Slide 19
Future Recruitment Expectations
The proportion of employers in the Ballarat area who expected to recruit in the 12 months following
the survey was higher when compared to all regions surveyed in the 8 months to August 2009 (47%
compared with 38%). However, this was lower than the proportion of employers surveyed in the 12
months to December 2008 (51%).


A similar proportion of employers in the Ballarat area expected to encounter difficulties when
recruiting in the 12 months following the survey compared with employers surveyed in the 8 months
to August 2009 (30% compared with 32%). However, this was much lower compared with employers
surveyed in the 12 months to December 2008 (59%).


A high proportion of recruiting employers expected that they would recruit in the next 6 months.


Reducing Staff
Only a small proportion (3%) of employers in the Ballarat area expected to reduce staff numbers in
the 12 months following the survey compared with all employers surveyed in the 8 months to August
2009 (5%).
Overall recruitment activity may decline in the next 12 months, with 47% of employers expecting to
recruit compared with 69% who had recruited in the 12 months prior to surveying.


Recruiting an Apprentice
A higher proportion of employers in the Ballarat area (30%) intended to recruit an apprentice in the
12 months following the survey compared with all employers surveyed in the 8 months to August
2009 and the 12 months to December 2008 (19%).


These results demonstrate that there are opportunities in the Ballarat area to be taken advantage of,
especially in relation to apprenticeships.


Slide 20
Conclusion
There are considerable variation across the Ballarat area in terms of unemployment rates and levels
of disadvantage. Labour market conditions in the Ballarat area are subdued, as evidenced by the
lower proportion of employers who expected to recruit in the next 12 months compared to the
previous 12 months.
However, there are still job opportunities available in the area with a large proportion of employers
recruiting. There are also expected to be new jobs created in growth industries such as Health Care.
Job seekers need the skills to take advantage of these current and future job opportunities not only
through apprenticeships but also through work experience and training in basic work readiness skills.


Providers can support job seekers by further engagement with employers and working with the Local
Employment Coordinator.


Slide 21
More information on labour market conditions and other research on small areas can be found on
these web sites.
www.workplace.gov.au/lmip
www.workplace.gov.au/skillsindemand
www.workplace.gov.au/bcw
www.workplace.gov.au/regionalreports
www.productivityplaces.deewr.gov.au
www.deewr.gov.au/Employment/Pages/JobsFund.aspx


A report on the survey findings for the Central Victoria Priority Employment Area will be placed on the
regional reports section of the Workplace web site.
Thank you.

								
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