Regional workforce futures: an analysis of the Great Southern, South West and Wheatbelt regions

12 Aug 2008

This report provides an assessment of regional employment dynamics and future labour demand in these regions of Western Australia. It examines the demographic and economic dynamics driving regional labour markets; analyses the changing structure of regional labour markets in terms of sector and occupation; identifies the major challenges facing employers in the regions; and develops projections of labour for demand to 2015 for sectors and occupations within the regions.

One of the central objectives of the report was to develop labour force scenarios for specific sectors and occupations within the Great Southern, South West and Wheatbelt. Scenarios were developed using a Dynamic Shift-Share ARIMA model, which produces total employment, sectoral and occupational scenarios for each region. Geographically, each region has been examined according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ statistical subdivisions. While the dynamics of change are different across the three regions, it is clear that there are important labour force issues that need to be addressed, including:

• Strategic planning for changing economic and demographic structures within regions, and the associated emerging demands for labour;

• Severe skilled and general labour shortages in a number of sectors;

• Challenges in attracting employees to, and retaining employees in, regional areas;

• Inter and intra regional competition for labour;

• A rapid ageing of the workforce in a number of sectors and locations.

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