Can’t find skilled workers? RAPAD is here to help

An economic development organisation representing a large part of outback Queensland is calling on anyone with a need for skilled employees to get involved with the Central West Queensland Skills Investment Project.

 The Remote Area Planning and Development board (RAPAD) represents the seven local government areas of the central west and is delivering a Regional Skills Investment Strategy (RSIS) project in the area, thanks to funding from the Queensland Government.

 Three hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be invested over two years to work with our region’s employers to identify local training gaps or issues, forecast shortfalls in the agriculture, tourism/hospitality and community services sectors.  The project aims to put solutions in place to make sure the region has access to the training to produce skilled workers now and into the future.

 CEO of RAPAD David Arnold says the level of community and industry input into this project will determine its success.

 “If you want to be able to easily hire qualified, professional shearers, customer service staff or carers, for example, you need to put your local knowledge and needs forward so the project will result in a local solution for local industry,” Mr Arnold said.

 In October 2018 Tamara Pearce was appointed as the RSIS Project Co-ordinator for the Central West.

 Since her appointment her priority has been to meet with the region’s stakeholders in the agriculture (sheep and wool), tourism/hospitality and community services sectors.

 “Local businesses and people on the ground are best placed to identify what training and skills are needed right now and what new roles employers will want to fill in the future,” she said.

 She has already visited every local government area and is willing to travel to meet with stakeholders.

 Ms Pearce says she wants to help the community access the funding and programs that are available now.

 “There is funding available across the state that individuals can access for vocational education and training, this project aims to connect employers and their employees to the funding in key regional industries, so everyone can benefit,” she said.

 “For employers of identified industries, the project could provide heavily subsidised training to help grow or diversify their business”.

 The Regional Skills Investment Strategy is a $9 million initiative funded over four years that supports the Queensland Government to partner with communities to ensure a supply of skilled local people to meet demand for current and emerging jobs in regional communities.

 To talk with Tamara Pearce about your needs contact her on 0412 880 746 or email  You can also become involved by filling out this survey