A few hours’ drive north of Melbourne, Greater Shepparton boasts a $2.88 billion Gross Regional Product (GRP). The region is on the cusp of major growth, with an expected 1.2% population rise per annum, between now and 2031.
The has partnered with the Department of Sustainability and Environment to outline a plan focused on leveraging the region’s strengths.
The Greater Shepparton 2030 strategy
A roadmap for building sustainable economic activity and boosting the quality of life in the next 30 years, the 2030 strategy is an extension of the 1996 version.
A key strength of the new plan is its integrated planning approach, coupled with the process and extent of community engagement involving all stakeholders. Local feedback was implemented in the developmental stages.
There’s a great focus on shaping the future of education, health, tourism and events – turning to the community for strategic direction to enhance the region’s economy.
New skills and jobs centre
In April 2016, the Minister for Training and Skills, Steve Herbert launched Shepparton’s Skills and Jobs Centre. One in a network of centres at TAFE’s across Victoria, Shepparton aims to meet the needs of their local communities and industries, with extensive support services.
Hailed as a one-stop-shop for locals on the job hunt, the centre is geared for people looking to start training, workers needing to upskill, and the unemployed searching for assistance.
GOTAFE CEO, says the space is the first point of call to get expert skills assessment, career advice and training opportunities.
“By engaging more strongly with industry, the Skills and Jobs Centre will also develop a better understanding of skill gaps in the region, to which training solutions can be developed.”
“We work closely with local schools and are very proud to be a signatory on a Memorandum of Understanding with the Better Together Alliance made up of Wanganui Park Secondary College, Mooroopna Secondary College, Shepparton High School and McGuire Secondary College.”
Local efforts to promote jobs and investment in the region has helped unemployment in Greater Shepparton. It has fallen to 6.5%, from a high of 8.7% in December 2014.
Treasurer Tim Pallas, at a forum held in the area, outlined how the Andrews Labor Government is boosting investment and employment in the region.
Mr Pallas highlighted the Government’s Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund, which has driven jobs growth in the region, and supported the recent $120 million investment by Fonterra at its facility in nearby Stanhope.
“Regional cities like Shepparton are important drivers of Victoria’s economy, providing key services and vital infrastructure to surrounding areas.”
“It was great to hear from a wide variety of stakeholders in Shepparton about their vision for the region and take in firsthand where they are looking for support from this Government.”
The region is making it easier for entrepreneurs and startups thinking about establishing businesses. The business centre acts as a starting point to support the growth of local businesses.
Vibrant, progressive and forward thinking, Greater Shepparton is a good example of a region investing in their people to overcome economic issues.
If you would like to know more about job creation and workforce development strategies for your region, please contact Wendy Perry via email@example.com.