Adelaide’s north – double the growth rate and where are the jobs?

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Adelaide’s north is growing at almost double the rate of the rest of the state.  In a 10-year period, from 2004 and 2014, population increased by 20%m but, alarmingly, job opportunities haven’t match its steady growth – especially amid a decline in manufacturing.

Adelaide’s north hits highest unemployment in SA

According to a recent ABC article, 17% of youth in Adelaide’s north is unemployed… and it’s predicted 5,700 more jobs are need to be created to combat the rising unemployment issue.  Elizabeth alone tops the worst area for employment, coming in at an alarming 32.4%.

In the face of that, the local community are implementing strategies to combat this growing rate, with the City of Salisbury’s Twelve25 Youth Enterprise Centre, a great example.  The centre helps people aged from 12 to 25 to improve their skills and better prepare themselves for employment possibilities.

“We’ve got everything from school holiday programs for the younger kids, right through to entrepreneurial projects for the future Facebook founders of the northern suburbs,” centre manager Rick Henke stated.

Northern Futures is a community-based, not for profit, developing State and Federal programs to advance education, training and workforce development in the northern region.  While WorkReady offers another initiative that youth can take advantage of to access training and employment services, in order to find employment.

A unified approach to economic transformation

What’s unique about this northern region is the open conversation between locals and government, whereby the State Government is seeking public input for its $5.5 million Northern Economic Plan.

Minister for Automotive Transformation Kyam Maher emphasised the input of local communities and businesses is paramount toward ensuring the future of the region reflects the needs of its residents.

With the closure of Holden being one of the north’s greatest challenges, the plan addresses job creation, skills development and industry diversification.

Over the next few weeks, a series of community and industry events will be held in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.  Key topics on the agenda include technology, labour, export and collaboration along with infrastructure, engagement, education & skills and production.  Entrepreneurship and encouraging more people to make their own job and employ others must also be in the mix.

Transport hub confirmed for northern suburbs

A 40-hectare food manufacturing hub in the Parafield Airport precinct will bring together the packaging, distribution and transport of food products.  The Government has allocated $2 million over two years to planning the food hub.

An estimated 430 new jobs will be created as a result – with food production activities including agriculture and food and beverage manufacturing currently providing about 4.5% of the jobs in the region.

Investing in skills and workforce development will help Adelaide’s north become more productive, innovative and compete on the state stage.

If you’d like to have a chat about how to build a workforce that underpins your region’s or company’s growth, please contact Wendy Perry via

November 2015

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