House debates

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Statements by Members

Nicholls Electorate: Industry Training Hub, Employment

1:55 pm

Photo of Damian DrumDamian Drum (Nicholls, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Secondary school students in my electorate of Nicholls are set to benefit from a Commonwealth industry training hub. Based in Shepparton, the hub is going to be one of 10 that will be trialled around Australia as part of a $50 million investment by the federal government to improve opportunities for years 11 and 12 students in regional areas that have high youth unemployment. These students will be mentored by career facilitators with a focus on developing skills needed for jobs that are in local demand. These career facilitators will also engage with local employers, who are struggling to find the people with the right skills that they need for their organisations.

As we know, there are currently plenty of employers who can't get the workers they need. Research from the Regional Australia Institute shows that more than 54,000 job vacancies exist in our regions, including almost 6,000 in regional Victoria. Just today the Herald Sun reports that Victoria's construction industry is struggling to find the specialised tradespeople that they need, driving up prices during a boom in building activity. A survey of Masters Builders Association members found that more than two-thirds were experiencing trade delays. An average delay of 15 day was occurring for concreters, bricklayers and joiners. Then you go on and you see thousands of hospitality workers that remain unfulfilled. In my electorate, at Goulburn Valley Health, over 300 full-time equivalent jobs are vacant. (Time expired)