New toolkit to help attract, retain Australian talent released

Toolkit expected to become 'valuable resource for regional SA councils in developing strong and sustainable workforces'

New toolkit to help attract, retain Australian talent released

Torrens University Australia has unveiled a new toolkit that offers practical advice and strategies on workforce attraction and retention within the local government sector.

The Career Pathways and Workforce Toolkit, which was developed in partnership with the Central Local Government Region of SA (Legatus Group), also explores options for shared services in terms of recruitment and professional services.

"The toolkit would be a valuable resource for regional SA councils in developing strong and sustainable workforces which ultimately support the state's economy," said Simon Millcock, CEO of the Legatus Group, in a media release.

"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."

Recruitment challenges

The new toolkit comes as local councils in remote and regional Australia find it difficult to attract and retain talent.

"Rural and regional local councils provide people in those communities with the opportunity to engage in skilled service employment, yet the challenges of attracting, developing, and retaining a skilled workforce are greater in regional and isolated rural areas," said Wakefield Regional Council's Mayor Rodney Reid, who is also the chairman of the Legatus group, in a statement.

Professor Roslyn Cameron, Director of the Centre for Organisational Change and Agility at Torrens University, added that regional councils also face several challenges as a result of competing with Metro councils for talent. They include:

  • Matching salaries and amenities that are competitive
  • Offering career paths
  • Partnering with education and training providers to develop career and skill development programmes
  • Providing flexible employment options for employees

"Meeting the current and future skill needs will be an ongoing challenge for the local government sector and more significantly regional councils," Cameron said.

The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) recently brought to attention the shortage of labour in the country's regional areas.

According to IPA, the government should reduce the barriers that prevent pensioners, veterans, and students from entering the workforce to alleviate the labour crunch.

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