Originally published on The Queensland Times

A NEW Regional Jobs Committee with a focus on health and technology will launch in Springfield to grow the area’s job market and local industries.

Member for Jordan Charis Mullen said the Regional Jobs Committee would ensure the greater Springfield area’s job security.

“The possibilities for Springfield are strong with education, health and technology identified as the priority industries to help the support the city’s predicted population growth of 115,000 over the next two decades,” she said.

“Skills are also needed for Greater Springfield’s existing major industries including health care and social assistance, retail, manufacturing, construction, administration and transport logistics.

“We know small business is our state’s biggest employer with the new Regional Job Committee firmly focussed on the skills we will need for the future.

“Access to diverse skills means more jobs and stronger regions, and that’s in everybody’s best interests.”

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman said Townsville, Mackay, Fraser Coast, Springfield, Toowoomba and Redlands would host the first six Regional Jobs Committees supported by $900,000 from the state government.

“Queensland is home to a diverse range of existing and emerging industries and we want to make sure Queenslanders have the skills for a successful career in those industries,” Ms Fentiman said.

“That’s why we have established six new Regional Jobs Committees because we want to support our local businesses and create more local jobs.”

“These new committees will bring together local business, government, community leaders, training providers, industry representatives, high schools and unions to develop regional job and training plans.

“These plans will help each region to be able to plan for the future training and skills needs specific to each region.

“The committees will utilise the plans to advocate for investment in training and skills which will help the region’s existing and emerging industries grow.”

“By targeting investment in the right training for the right jobs will mean local families will have better opportunities to live and work locally while providing better economic outcomes for the whole community.”

“Our largest challenge will not be creating jobs, but ensuring we have a local workforce ready and trained with the skills to attract and fill those jobs.”

Each committee will benefit from research and industry engagement from Jobs Queensland, collaborate with the Department of State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning and advocate for their region’s unique workforce, training and investment needs.

The formation of Regional Jobs Committees is one of the key actions of the Skills for Queensland – Great Training for Quality Jobs strategy which includes a strong focus on placed-based responses and local leadership to skills and workforce challenges.

“Additional Regional Jobs Committees are being considered across the state and they will add valued voices to our biannual regional skills and job summits,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The new committees are part of the Palaszczuk Government’s plan to work with all stakeholders to create more jobs, improve training pathways and raise investment in our businesses and workforces across the state.”

For further information about Regional Jobs Committees visit www.desbt.qld.gov.au/skillsstrategy or call 1300 369 935.