The council needed a high quality evidence base to inform the development of economic strategies and investment priorities. Some of the challenges included:
1. What are the future skill requirements for the local workforce?
2. Is there a skill shortage in the region?
3. How can Council take advantage of economic opportunities and address emerging challenges?
The population of Gunnedah Shire fell from 13,300 in 1991 to about 11,500 in 2006, largely as a result of a decline in mining activity. In more recent years the population increased slightly, with the coal mining once again expanding.
Gunnedah Shire, however, is facing a range of economic challenges and opportunities from major shifts underway in the global and Australian economy. They include economic transition to knowledge and services, automation, environmental challenges, access to skills and changes to the way we work.
The evidence base is now being used to develop an action plan to help the local economy thrive
Gunnedah Shire Council engaged .id to explore the local economy with an emphasis on analysing workforce and industry trends. They were particularly after an analysis of what this meant for future workforce requirements in the Gunnedah Shire community, especially given the major projects proposed for the region. This evidence base was required to help inform the development of a Community Workforce Plan.
.id adopted a strategic methodology to meet the council’s needs.
We identified where the Gunnedah Shire economy is now and what has been influencing change over time. This included exploring recent economic performance, drivers of growth, dominant / emerging industry analysis and skills gap analysis.
We then looked at what might happen going forward. This stage incorporated analysing the employment implications of major projects proposed for the region such as a major health facility, food product manufacturing facility, and tourism assets.
The final stage involved identifying actions to take advantage of opportunities and address barriers to growth. Some of the challenges included:
- Slowdown in economic growth is impacting on employment generation
- Drought conditions in 2018 and 2019 may continue to impact economic conditions over the short term
- Emerging skill shortages may impact potential to support business growth
- Attracting and developing skilled workers
In this stage, there was a strong focus on developing actions around the education and skill level requirements for future workers in the Gunnedah Shire community.
.id prepared an economic health check and strategic opportunity analysis that has been used to directly inform the development of the Community Workforce Plan and ultimately the development of interventions to leverage opportunities and address challenges. Our analysis and findings were presented to Council.
“As part of a Community Workforce Plan Idprofile performed an Economic Health Check for us. We were really pleased with the outcome, they were quick and provided some fantastic data and cut it into a very manageable usable way. Providing data in this way has met that we have been able to set a check action plan to help us to move in the right direction”.
Manager, Economic Development
Gunnedah Shire Council