CQ Business is adapting and doing what it takes
- National unemployment rate fell to 3.4% in July 2022 (Australian Bureau of Statistics)
- QLD Government Grants available to help boost small business
- Hydrogen workforce roadmap released
Adapting in a candidate-short jobs market
The skills shortage in the region continues, as indeed it does nationally and internationally.
In line with these candidate shortages, we have seen a shift in the recruitment marketplace to becoming more ‘ethically-aggressive’, with employers willing to ‘do what it takes’ to secure talent. With employees reluctant to move from their existing jobs, on offer to lure them away are attractive remuneration packages coupled with flexible lifestyle options. Even with these attractive packages on the table, jobseekers are still hesitant to make the move. The impact of this tight jobs market is being felt most significantly by smaller businesses whose resources are limited. It remains to be seen how this long-term employment trend will affect the diversity of the local business community.
Many employers are being forced to think ‘outside the square’ and consider staffing solutions that don’t conform to their traditional model. This might include remote out-sourcing of work, adapting operations to accommodate trainees or work placements, or applying for grants to help boost their business.
We are seeing more and more companies exploring investing in developing and re-skilling existing employees and also ensuring they have regularly reviewed pay and reward, in line with the increasing cost of living. Good communication and having regular conversations with employees about the challenges they are facing, often does not happen enough but is a very effective way to ensure team members feel valued and that they are being listened to.
These are pro-active and positive ways to avoid the costly situation of losing employees to other companies who are offering enticing “carrots”.
Government boosts for business
The Queensland Government recently announced various grants available to small business. The Business Boost Grant Fund encourages small businesses to apply for up to $15,000 to help boost turnover or increase their workforce. The Growing Workforce Participation Fund is available to support employment of jobseekers from identified groups with grants of up to $200,000 available.
For businesses wanting to explore the option of grant funding from the Queensland Government, visit the Queensland Government Grants Finder at https://www.grants.services.qld.gov.au
Hydrogen Superpower Opportunities and Risks
With Gladstone touted to become home to one of the world’s largest hydrogen hubs, it was interesting to read the Queensland Government’s launch in July of a dedicated workforce development plan for the industry. The Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Development, Di Farmer presented the ‘Hydrogen Industry Workforce Development Roadmap 2022-2032’ which she said will build a pipeline of hydrogen-ready skilled workers. The plan highlights the training opportunities that will be made available to meet the skills and training needed for the electrolyser manufacturing facility in Gladstone. A Vocational Training and Employment Centre (VTEC) will be established in a collaboration between the Queensland Government and Fortescue Future Industries. And $2 million is being invested to upgrade training facilities at Gladstone State High School to prepare students for future jobs in the hydrogen industry.
In a region accustomed to boom and bust, some locals are nervous about the impact an emerging hydrogen superpower industry will have on the community, particularly infrastructure and housing availability.
For more information and insights about the local CQ job market and opportunities Register