Paper offers solutions to regional skills shortage

South Australia’s Torrens University has released a talent acquisition and retention research paper for regional councils, which identifies a need to tap more directly into local schools, TAFEs and Universities.

Professor Roslyn Cameron: regional councils must compete

The Career Pathways and Workforce toolkit, produced in partnership with the regional SA local government peak Legatus Group, tackles the skills shortage affecting almost 70 per cent of local governments across Australia.

The toolkit includes practical advice and strategies on workforce attraction and retention, including shared services recruitment and professional services, and promoting career pathways into and within the regional local government sector.

A central message of the paper is the need for better and more targeted engagement with regional secondary schools, TAFEs and SA-based universities via gap year traineeships, cadetships, study tours and work placements to provide pathways into the local government sector.

It identifies an array of job roles across 12 local government job ‘families’ and identifies career pathways within and across them.

“This base data can now be utilised by the regional LG sector to inform targeted marketing and attraction strategies for securing its future workforces. Pockets of best practice and regionally based initiatives have been uncovered and shared in this report,” the paper says.

Ongoing challenges

Co-author of the paper Professor Roslyn Cameron, who directs the Torrens University Centre for Organisational Change and Agility, says meeting current and future skill needs will be an ongoing challenge for regional local governments, particularly in terms of competing with their metropolitan counterparts.

Simon Millcock: a valuable resource

“Our research shows that regional councils face several challenges. Many are the result of competing with Metro councils for talent,” she said.

“The challenges include matching salaries and amenities that are competitive, offering career paths, partnering with education and training providers to develop career and skill development programs, and providing flexible employment options for all including those with family responsibilities or for older workers.”

Legatus CEO Simon Millcock says the paper provides a valuable resource for regional councils in helping them develop a strong and sustainable workforce.

“Our aim with this toolkit is to help local councils in regional areas with a roadmap to drive workforce attraction and retention and promote and create career pathways for their staff within the local government sector more broadly and work towards regional local government as a regional employer of choice,” he said.

Comment below to have your say on this story.

If you have a news story or tip-off, get in touch at  

Sign up to the Government News newsletter

Leave a comment:

Your email address will not be published. All fields are required