$3m to help rural and remote councils boost local workforce

Published: 31st July 2023

The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) will receive $3 million funding over three years to deliver a new Rural and Remote Capacity Building Project.

The Project, created to help address workforce challenges including labour shortages and staff retention in rural and remote areas, will provide targeted training for staff at 24 Queensland councils identified by the LGAQ, to boost employees’ skills, meet local needs and retain workers in their communities.

The training will also be extended to small businesses or organisations providing support to councils, and include accredited training, tickets, part qualifications, non-accredited training, and micro-credentials.

The LGAQ manages the annual bidding process for the Queensland Government’s First Start program, which provides funding to local councils and not-for-profit community-based organisations to employ additional trainees and apprentices under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer made the announcement at the LGAQ's Bush Councils Convention in Goondiwindi last week.

“We are committed to working in partnership with LGAQ to ensure local councils continue to deliver employment outcomes under the First Start program that benefit their communities," Ms Farmer said.

“The Rural and Remote Capacity Building Project is further proof of that. It recognises councils as major employers in regional and remote areas.”

LGAQ CEO Alison Smith said: “We welcome the opportunity to deliver the project in partnership with the Queensland Government.

“Rural and remote councils are often the biggest employers in their regions so it is great to have this funding to provide high-quality training which will contribute to the liveability of these communities.

“We know that in remote regions, acquiring skills and accreditations can be a challenge – and councils are keen to partner on ways to create place-based solutions and ‘growing’ local workforces.

“This program will provide a wonderful opportunity to rural and remote Queensland community workforces, which should never be disadvantaged by their postcode.”

Goondiwindi Regional Council Mayor Lawrence Springborg thanked the Government on behalf of his Council, one of the 24 that will benefit from the funding.  

"Like most councils, we are one of the biggest employers in our local region and it’s essential we lead the way in providing jobs for a sustainable workforce for the future,” Cr Springborg said.

"A job within local government can provide skill sets that lead to a long and rewarding career."

Rural and Remote Capacity Building Project Councils:

  • Balonne Shire Council
  • Banana Shire Council
  • Barcoo Shire Council
  • Barcaldine Regional Council
  • Blackall-Tambo Regional Council
  • Boulia Shire Council
  • Bulloo Shire Council
  • Charters Towers Regional Council
  • Cloncurry Shire Council
  • Diamantina Shire Council
  • Etheridge Shire Council
  • Flinders Shire Council
  • Goondiwindi Regional Council
  • Longreach Regional Council
  • Mareeba Shire Council
  • McKinlay Shire Council
  • Murweh Shire Council
  • North Burnett Regional Council
  • Quilpie Shire Council
  • Richmond Shire Council
  • South Burnett Regional Council
  • Southern Downs Regional Council
  • Tablelands Regional Council
  • Winton Shire Council