Your Future in the Riverina
It’s one of the biggest perceived limiting factors to people moving to the country. Employment. Questions like, “Are there any jobs in regional Australia? Will my career suffer moving to the country? Can we afford a tree change?”
Ask yourself some of these questions though. “Do I feel fulfilled in my job? Does my income match the expense and pressures of city life? Or do I feel trapped?”
The combination of being overworked, overstretched and undervalued is a terrible feeling. Sadly, it’s a very common experience for hard-working city folk. The good news is, you’re not trapped; there is a way out. Not only is the Riverina a great place to live and play, but it’s also a great place to work and even grow your career, quicker! Despite common misconceptions, there’s no shortage of opportunities in our thriving region. The Riverina is growing fast, and so is the need for skilled workers across a broad range of industries not normally associated with the country.
“Businesses need people who are adaptable. People who are multi-skilled but also willing to broaden their minds and skillsets,”said Rachel Whiting, CEO of Regional Development Australia Riverina.
In fact, statistics reveal businesses are trying harder than ever to fill these positions. Data available from the Labour Market Information Portal shows internet vacancy ratesfor the Riverina-Murray region has increased by nearly 90% over the past nine years. On top of that, nearly 25 per cent of the region’s workforce is aged 55 or older with around 7,700 people expected to retire in the next two to five years.
“By 2022, the region is expected to grow by 10,000 people. We desperately need higher skilled people (Degree or higher) as well as tradespeople like plumbers, welders and electricians,”said Ms Whiting.
The Riverina is also a great place to launch a career and propel through the ranks faster, she said. With businesses providing more opportunities for growth, exposure and responsibilities, than the city workplaces.
“You have to wear so many more ‘job hats’ in the country. If you’re prepared to have your area of expertise but also step outside of it, the Riverina is an excellent place for career growth. Not every great career is launched from Sydney or Melbourne.”
In response to this expanding need, a number of initiatives are taking off across the private, government and Non-For-Profit sectors in the region, all with a common goal; to find and attract skilled workers. RDA Riverina’s Skilled Migrant Program was inundated by nearly 600 applicants in less than 24 hours after opening this month.
“There are only 175 spots available through this program, in areas that employers have told us are diffiuclt to fill in our region. This flood of applications proves the Riverina is not only a popular choice for people to live, but that we have a range of job openings to be filled urgently,”said Ms Whiting.
The digital world connects remote people with real-life opportunities
Finding a great job is one of the most important factors in relocating to a new region. Having the ability to jump online and search for regional job opportunities from the safety and familiarity of your city apartment or workplace is one of the best things about living and working in 2019. Jobs Riverina is a portal for jobs seekers and employers in the region.
The free online platform is designed to help businesses and potential employers find each other, but it also provides a range of other benefits. For example, you can upload your resume through the AirCV to make yourself visible to businesses seeking skilled workers. It also allows you to set up notifications for new jobs.
“This is a new platform, but the total number of notice views has more than quadrupled the past 12 months, again demonstrating the need of employers in our region,’ said Ms Whiting.
Below are the top 10 industries advertised on Jobs Riverina as of May 2019.
Health industry education, training and job placement
Three Rivers University Department of Rural Health and Charles Sturt University have a fantastic online learning platform. It supports students from diverse backgrounds to complete a health degree. Although the focus is on celebrating the unique skills and experiences of rural people, and providing access for them to attend university, the programs at Three Rivers are also an amazing opportunity for people considering a tree change.
“I got a position as a post graduate registered nurse in the New South Wales Transition to Professional Practice program. My biggest things was (that) it’s the smallest place I have ever lived in… Everyone has been really welcoming. We have been doing a lot of exploring so it’s been a really good move!”
Temora’s Great Quack Quest
With a number of doctors set to retire in the next few years, Temora Shire Council and the local Medical Complex, decided to be proactive. Their ageing but growing population, a major factor around their Great Quack Quest.
This epic and rather unusual search got the nation tapping their feet and aimed to inspire GPs from capital cities and overseas, to grow their career through a country change. They weren’t just looking for any old doctor though. They wanted someone who would fit right in to their community spirit.
Receiving widespread national attention (appearing on The Project, The Morning Showand ABC National Newsto name a few) it demonstrates the wonderful jobs available but also the huge heart of Riverina communities.
But it isn’t only the medical and allied health industry crying out for workers.
Connecting skilled rural women with professional roles
According to Professor John Hicks from Charles Sturt University, a staggering 50% of businesses in the region are unable to fill their positions locally. It was statistics like these that inspired Jo Palmer, to start her job matching company, Pointer Remote Roles.
“I was at a barbeque in early 2017, when I looked at my network of highly qualified, professional friends who were living in rural areas, many of whom were over qualified for the jobs they were doing. Some were not working at all.
I realised that the Australian workforce was missing out on a large talent pool because there was no easy way to connect with these professionals,” said Palmer, who lives near The Rock in the Lockhart Shire, 30 minutes south of Wagga Wagga.
And the need was clearly there. Palmer was awarded the 2019 NSW-ACT AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for helping skilled rural professionals find rewarding, professional work without having to leave their rural area.
If you want to be part of a diverse and ever-growing workforce in the Riverina, contact the team at Country Change. After all, it’s the skilled workforce of our region that helps makes life in such a beautiful place possible.
What does your future look like?