The Department of Education, Training and the Arts (DETA), in collaboration with Supply Chain and Logistics Association of Australia (SCLAA), have announced the Skills Formation Strategy (SFS) project for the Transport & Logistics (T&L) industry in Queensland.
The Skills Formation Strategy T&L (SFS T&L) will be run state-wide over a two year period and will provide a framework for T&L industries and communities to work with each other, the Queensland Government and other relevant stakeholders to analyse and address the reasons for skills shortages.
SFS T&L seeks to gain an understanding of skills and labour shortages holistically, recognising skills shortages as a workforce planning and development issue rather than entirely a skilling issue.
SFS T&L also aims to build capacity of industries and regions to work together on common workforce planning issues as well as enhance the capacity of the education and training system to give support to the growth of industries and communities.
SFS T&L aims to facilitate the development of relationships and networks that together will identify causes of skill shortages and work to develop and action appropriate solutions.
The T&L industry in Queensland has recognised that existing skills shortages are not due to insufficient training and the following sample workforce planning issues will need to be collectively planned for in the coming two years:
- Poor image that an industry holds within a community
- A lack of, or perceived lack of, career paths in an industry or occupation
- Poor job design employment conditions and wages
- Poor utilisation of skills
- Changing aspirations of the workforce and its incompatibility with positions offered
The availability of skilled workers and sound workforce planning are vital to the long term success and development of the T&L industry in Queensland and it is now recognised that skills shortages are influenced by a complex set of strategic circumstances.
The effects of these can be minimised if a strategic and collaborative approach is taken within an industry or a community to the common issues.
Gary Pearson will be the Project Manager for the SFS T&L project, based in Brisbane CBD project office, and will catch up with industry stakeholders and organisations during 2009 to gain valuable input into potential solutions to the skills shortage issues, such as:
- Mapping and gaining industry agreement on career pathways in sub-industries
- Exploring school/industry partnerships to provide work experience
- Designating mentors for apprentices and trainees
- Developing combined recruitment policies
- Developing workforce planning strategies
- Introducing activities to change community perceptions of industries and career possibilities
- Exploring job redesign
The state government sponsored industry engagement initiative is an opportunity for the T&L industry within Queensland over the coming two years to establish a permanent network of strategic collaboration in order to deal with those issues that are likely to have an impact on sustainability.