17 November 2022
The inaugural Ipswich Community Services Workforce Summit has heard growth in this vitally important and exciting sector will contribute to job opportunities and social outcomes across the region.
Ipswich Mayor Teresa Harding said the summit, facilitated by Ipswich City Council, West Moreton Regional Children Youth and Families Committee and the Community Services Industry Alliance, brought together more than 150 sector stakeholders with shared goals.
“The community services sector is one of the largest employers in Ipswich and an essential part of the local economy,” Mayor Harding said.
“The goal of the summit is to develop a shared agenda for growing and developing the local community services workforce.
“We will achieve this by bringing together key community service leaders, employment, and training stakeholders from across the community services ecosystem to establish priorities in an effort to grow our workforce.”
Mayor Harding said council will work closely with the community services sector, the State and Federal governments to unlock the region’s potential to support community services capability by working towards a shared agenda for localised workforce solutions.
Economic and Industry Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Nicole Jonic said the healthcare and social assistance industry is Ipswich’s second highest employer, providing jobs to 14 per cent of the city’s workforce, and the fourth largest contributor to the economy.
“We hope summit attendees will leave energised, with solutions to attract new industry recruits to Ipswich and develop their own graduate pipelines. Working together, we can develop a community services jobs plan for our city,” Cr Jonic said.
“We recognise that community and economic development go hand in hand – those functions sit side-by-side in council’s Economic and Community Development Branch.
“A strong, empowered and resilient community drives the economy; our economic growth goals are for prosperity, meaningful jobs and prosperity for all. We recognise the value of the community services sector not just as a population-servicing sector, but as an economic driver.”
Community, Culture, Arts and Sport Committee Chairperson Councillor Andrew Fechner said facilitating positive social outcomes by working alongside community, encouraging collaborative practices and leading social change was a priority for council.
“The first action identified in our Community Development Strategy is ‘in partnership with key stakeholders implement an annual community service summit to bring together key leaders from community and charitable groups/organisations, services, businesses, and government agencies to explore opportunities to collectively address complex needs’,” Cr Fechner said.
“The problems can seem overwhelming, but in sharing, we lighten the load and can work towards positive solutions. That is one of the reasons for hosting this summit today.
“Our new Economic Development Strategy, to be presented to council in December, has a strong focus on job creation and skill development to help local people enter and succeed in fast-growing and rewarding industries such as community services.
“This Community Services Workforce Summit is the first step in an ongoing collaborative journey, between all three levels of government and industry, to address the workforce challenges facing this sector.”