Mackay leads regional skills development

Training pathways to skill local workers for the agriculture, mining and community healthcare sectors is under way in Mackay.

Minister for Training and Skills Development Shannon Fentiman met with Mackay Mayor Greg Williamson, chief executive officer Craig Doyle and project coordinator Avril Curtis to discuss how the State Government’s $2.8 million investment in Regional Skills Investment Strategy (RSIS) will develop more training opportunities across eight regions in Queensland.

“I’m pleased to see the $350,000 investment will increase training opportunities to get more Queenslanders the skills and training they need to get a job in Mackay,” Ms Fentiman said.

“This strategy will work with local communities and with government to identify current and emerging jobs,’’ she said.

“Local knowledge is critical and we will work with employers that are looking for skilled workers now and into the future.

“This will also enhance promotion and engagement activities, as well as assist the implementation of local training solutions that are identified as part of this project through the Government’s Annual VET Investment Plan.

“Mackay is one of the first regions to receive funding for their project under the strategy. We are engaging with local businesses to identify where we need more people in training and improve existing training pathways to get more Queenslanders into jobs.

“Mackay is topping the state, with the lowest unemployment rate of 3.3 per cent, and it’s great to see there have been almost 4000 jobs created in the Mackay region in the past 12 months.”

Mayor Williamson said the economic development of the region was dependent upon the supply of skilled workers.

“The employment of the project coordinator will help the agriculture, mining services and community healthcare sectors to better connect with training and suitably skilled local jobseekers,” Cr Williamson said.

“Mackay Regional Council is proud to be able to host this Queensland Government-funded role and to be able to work with the project to leverage better outcomes for the Mackay region.”

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said representatives from target industries would determine regional skills priorities and work together with the Queensland Government to develop training solutions.

“The agriculture, mining support services and community healthcare sectors are vital to Mackay’s economy,” Mrs Gilbert said.

“Ensuring local job seekers, employees, businesses and other stakeholders have access to quality training opportunities to fill the industries that are needing more skilled workers will help our economy to grow and benefit the whole community.”

The Regional Skills Investment Strategy is a $9 million initiative funded over four years that supports the Queensland Government to partner with communities to ensure a supply of skilled local people to meet demand for current and emerging jobs in regional communities.

The Queensland Government has approved $2.8 million through this strategy so far, with Central Highlands Development Corporation, Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board, Ipswich City Council, Bundaberg Regional Council, Southern Downs Regional Council, Fraser Coast Regional Council and Whitsunday Regional Council also leading projects.

For more information on vocational education and training, including Queensland Government funding and support, visit or call 1300 369 935.