Regional Workforce Pilots
The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in unprecedented numbers of people moving from metropolitan Melbourne to regional and rural Victoria, bringing forward unexpected demand on the already tight housing market in many areas. Some areas report a shortage of rental stock availability is exacerbating workforce shortages.
The $5 million investment in the Regional Workforce Pilots strategically located across the state will help regional and rural communities attract more skilled workers which they need to grow.
Objectives of Program
The pilots include targeted and localised solutions in four areas of regional Victoria experiencing high demand for workers and increasing challenges in attracting them. Pilots will be in the region surrounding Ararat in the Grampians, along the Great South Coast, in the High Country and at Robinvale in northern Victoria.
In the High Country and along Victoria’s Great South Coast, high tourism demand made it challenging for local workers to afford accommodation, impacting businesses who are in turn unable to obtain workers.
In the state’s north, the seasonal nature of the agriculture sector makes it difficult to source the right workers at the right time and this has been exacerbated by challenges sourcing overseas workers.
In the Grampians region where strong industry growth is increasing the demand for workers but limited availability of affordable housing is impacting the ability for industry to attract workers.
A Key Worker Housing Program will support the Alpine Shire Council to help key workers find housing. A high reliance on tourism is leading to accommodation shortages for key industry workers in the tourism, hospitality, health and education sectors. It will support the Council to pilot a program to match key workers to suitable housing by connecting them with property owners. The program will be managed by the Alpine Shire Council.
This High Country pilot builds on new Victorian Government investments in Victoria's north east designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to Victoria's north east region.
Great South Coast
Support will be provided to rezone and prepare land for future housing development at Timboon and Simpson.
The pilot will support the implementation of some of the recommendations from a Key and Essential Worker Housing Supply Action Plan, designed to create opportunities for public and private sector investment in housing through a combination of support from local Victorian and Commonwealth governments. It will include an investment to establish infrastructure to unlock private residential development.
The pilot will also support the Moyne Shire Council to coordinate and align relevant programs and identify any outstanding gaps in managing local workforce shortages. The Council will do this in conjunction with other local councils, as well as Victorian Government agencies.
This pilot builds on new Victorian Government investments in Victoria’s south west designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to Victoria's north east region.
The pilot designed to open up housing investments and will explore opportunities to better target existing programs and policies to help solve the problem. It will connect Agriculture Victoria with Swan Hill Rural City Council to coordinate solutions for seasonal worker housing.
The Robinvale pilot will include funding to support coordination between local, state and Commonwealth governments to explore accommodation options in the region. The coordination project will also enable close partnerships with key industries such as almond and table grape growers.
This Robinvale pilot builds on new Victorian Government investments in the Victoria’s north west region designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to Victoria's north east region.
The pilot will establish a worker resettlement program at Ararat to support new migrants recently arrived in the town. This initiative will operate as a partnership between Ararat Rural City Council and the Wyndham Community and Education Centre. The Council will work with the Centre to engage directly with local employers and workers to provide pre-employment education and training relevant to local industry’s needs.
The Grampians pilot will also include an investment in the Ararat East Development Zone to prepare the site for a future housing development to meet increased demand, enabling the creation of homes for additional people, creating over 100 full time equivalent jobs during construction.
This pilot builds on new Victorian Government investments in Victoria's west designed to create more jobs and attract more workers to Victoria's north east region.