“Connect U” will provide a strategic approach to address current and anticipated shortages in the Swan Hill region employment labour market. The project will facilitate long term benefits to the region that will translate into population growth for the region and innovative solutions to resolve ongoing localised skill shortages.
Ultimately, this project is designed to increase local productivity and increase competitiveness by enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and effectively. Connect U will provide a localised approach to resolve ongoing identified regional skills and workforce issues in the Mallee region.
A key feature of this initiative will be around developing a coordinated framework between local educational providers, service and welfare agencies with selected local industries. e.g. Agriculture & manufacturing. This framework will be flexible and adaptive to changing circumstances.
The Connect U program will work with established service providers and agencies to complement and value add to training and employment services.
Key features of the program are to introduce a customised online career development platform that empowers and up skills youth & adults re-entering the workforce in the Mallee region. Through the Connect to Business and Link to Further Education elements there will a stronger connection for this cohort to engage with local businesses, industry and education providers about employment opportunities in the Mallee region.
It will look to support job creation through alignment of career interests, skills and values to local employment opportunities. This assistance includes providing the end user specific skill sets and knowledge that will empower them to make informed career pathway decisions.
This will be achieved by:
- Help employers attract and retain the workers they need through better education and job readiness;
- Help training providers better match the needs of employers;
- Encourage and support local job seekers to gain skills and training in areas where there are work opportunities;
- Empower first job searchers / adults re-entering the workforce to better understand their interest, talents, aptitudes and skills.
Underpinning the planning and development of this initiative a steering committee will be established and made up of members from the respective Councils, LLEN, Universities,Learn Locals, SuniTAFE, Swan Hill Inc., local job active providers such Madec and Eworks as well as key industry members and groups. e.g Swan Hill Agribusiness Advisory The diversity of the steering committee across different sectors will assist in providing relevant information and expertise that will help guide the project to achieve the specified outcomes with respect to identified local skill shortages, emerging skill roles, training needs and gaps.
The project is expected to derive real long term benefits to the region including employment outcomes and innovative solutions to resolve ongoing localised skilled shortages that align better with training programs and courses. This will ensure duplication of services will be reduced and a more focused approached to specific workforce needs will be achieved.