Powerful ideas on the table for Valley’s future

A museum dedicated to the Valley’s power sector history served a fitting setting to discuss visions of the future, as energy and mining stakeholders converged to identify gaps in future workforce training.

The discussion came as part of the first stakeholder meeting in the development of the Gippsland Workforce Plan, an initiative designed to identify future workforce needs across Gippsland’s critical and emerging industries.

Spearheaded by Regional Development Australia Gippsland, the project has been taken up by Workforce Planning Australia, and is hoped to start influencing the direction of the region’s workforce training and education later this year.

“Historically skills and training providers have offered courses in the region where there are no related jobs, so there has not always been strong alignment between education providers and the workforce,” WPA principal Jenny Hoysted said.

“There is a changing workforce in Gippsland, there’s technological innovations coming in and we need strong collaboration with the education sector to prepare the workforce for the opportunities that are emerging.”

The Workforce Plan’s development comes as conversations continue about which industries will become the lifeblood of Gippsland’s future economy, as the Latrobe Valley shifts away from its reliance on energy production.

The meeting with mining and energy representatives is the first of seven stakeholder meetings, with sessions with agribusiness, advanced manufacturing, health, tourism, building construction and retail to follow.

“We have been gathering data about Gippsland-based industries, and now it’s about meeting with all industries to develop the vision we need to make it work,” Ms Hoysted said.

The Workforce Plan was funded by the Coalition government with $200,000 through the Latrobe Valley Industry and Employment Roadmap.