Southern Downs residents will be able to upskill with more ease with the funding boost.
Southern Downs residents will be able to upskill with more ease with the funding boost.

Funding boost to help residents upskill, work in region

YOUNG Southern Downs residents are set to benefit from additional funding to help them secure training and employment in the region.

The Regional Skills Investment Strategy has been extended to June 2021, totalling close to three years since its inception in November 2018.

Funded by the Queensland Government, the project is a partnership between Southern Downs Regional Council and the Department of Employment, Small Business and Training to identify the local skill gaps and job demands.

The project targets the food, manufacturing, tourism, health, and aged care sectors.

Southern Downs Mayor Vic Pennisi said the extension of the strategy would bolster economic and employment opportunities across the region.

"The Southern Downs is a great place to live, work, rest and play and we need our young people to feel like they have a future right here at home," Cr Pennisi said.

"We value the contribution our young people make now, and I look forward to the role they will play in the growth and prosperity of our region.

"It is crucial that we not only attract new industries to the Southern Downs region, but show that we have a community that is skilled, capable and ready to support those industries."



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Feedback from SDRC and industry experts last month indicated a need for further skills development in food processing, leadership training, and information technology.

An SDRC spokeswoman said the main focus of the RSIS project was to ascertain whether the region's Vocational Education and Training system met industry needs.

"(This includes) local support and industry demand for skills training, as well as the need to better promote career paths and opportunities available in the area," the spokeswoman said.

"As a result of the industry reference group feedback, (SDRC) will now engage local high schools to discuss potential VET training opportunities for students, matched with local employers to provide pathways into local industries."

The next reference group meeting for tourism and health and aged care is scheduled for February 2021.



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