A major construction industry forum will be held this Thursday 24 September in Mount Isa to address workforce skills development in North West Queensland through increased participation by Indigenous workers.

Hosted by the state’s peak body for construction training, Construction Skills Queensland (CSQ), the Building the Future – Regional Skilling Strategy, North West Queensland Forum will bring together leaders from industry, state and local government and other industry associated stakeholders.

CSQ CEO Brett Schimming said the forum would play a significant role in shaping the future of the local construction industry workforce.

“If the industry is required to deliver the projects of the future in North West Queensland, it is vital we take a collaborative approach to addressing workforce skilling challenges.

“The forum provides a unique opportunity to gain an ‘on the ground’ industry perspective of the construction industry from a diverse range of groups in the region.
“We want to better understand where the skills gaps are in the industry, which ones need to be filled and how this can best be achieved,” he said.

A major component of meeting this challenge will involve drawing on the skills of the local Indigenous population to add to the skills capacity of the workforce.

During the event, leaders will discuss strategies to improve workforce participation from the Indigenous population, who currently comprise approximately 16% of North West Queensland’s 840 construction workers.

Mr Schimming said the forum was focused on achieving long term training and employment outcomes for the region.

“With the information and local intelligence gathered on the day, CSQ will propose an Action Plan which will involve a joint strategy being developed from industry, government and other industry stakeholders.   
“The Action Plan will assist in monitoring workforce skilling needs in the region and help to ensure a skilled and sustainable workforce is available where it is needed most.

“After completing the plan we will return to the region to gain feedback and discuss how it can be best implemented,” he said.
For more information about CSQ’s workforce skilling initiatives, please visit www.csq.org.au.