The need for collaboration to promote the benefits of youth and residents staying local for work and careers is just one of the solutions identified in a series of Roma community meetings held on Thursday, 4 August.
Students, training providers, council representatives, employers and industry representatives met in a series of sessions hosted by the SQNNSW Innovation Hub, Southern Queensland Landscapes and TAFE Queensland, focussed on the general community, young people and First Nations representatives of the Maranoa-Balonne.
SQNNSW Innovation Hub Knowledge Broker Saleena Ham said having opportunities within the region was important for current and potential residents.
“It was really exciting to see employers and training providers working together on ways to provide more opportunities for regional Queensland residents,” Ms Ham said.
“We also identified a range of critical issues and possible pathways to supporting First Nations and youth into training and employment, including collaborations to provide transport, and navigation of training options.”
TAFE Queensland’s Director, Corporate Solutions (South West) Michele Berkhout said young people were at the heart of community vitality and growth.
“By empowering youth to recognise their extraordinary capabilities, and develop their skills through training, and connection to careers, the region will continue to thrive,” Ms Berkhout said.
“Our Western Queensland Manager, Wendy Sperling, is passionate about engaging young people with hands-on learning, practical experience, and real-world skills they get through TAFE Queensland.”
Roma Node Manager Sherrill Stivano, based at Southern Queensland Landscapes, said one key message was the need to put more energy into collaboration.
“If we collaborate between local organisations and local events, we can focus the available community energy and capacity to promote not just the benefits of staying local for work and careers to our young people, but that it is a viable option in the Maranoa-Balonne,” Ms Stivano said.
“We want the next generation of talent to know they can ‘stay local’ and have a great job and career opportunities, in any number of industries from agriculture to community businesses to manufacturing.”
The Southern Queensland and Northern New South Wales Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub has received funding from the Australian Government’s Future Drought Fund.