Geelong has been an attractive location for many of our larger organisations and many of these have come in the health and insurance sector.

We have witnessed the growth of TAC. NDIA now staff over 700 employees in the region and the first week of July saw 813 employees descend into WorkSafe’s new headquarters.

Let’s look at more areas of skill shortage in our region:

The Insurance Sector

The insurance sector comprises regulators, insurers, agencies and brokers.

WorkSafe and TAC would be deemed regulators. Insurers or Agents include companies such as Allianz, CGU, GallagherBasett, EML, QBE, Xchanging and the like. NDIA is an agency but also is represented as the developer and implementer of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, now into it’s fifth year. Then we have the brokers such as Roderick and Adroit – who bring a sizable brand in the region and this follows onto smaller brokers and boutique agents of insurers.

The entry of key regulators and insurance companies in the region has grown the need for insurance specialists across the board. Those highly skilled, may come from major insurance companies in Melbourne or other capital cities yet many roles are being filled by individuals transferring from health and general insurers, the health sector (hospitals and community health), government departments (such as DHHS) and a host within the insurance supply chain.

The salary and benefits package is increasing with such entrants and individuals are moving to these major companies in droves leaving the rest of the sector wanting.

Procurement, Logistics and Supply Chain

The other part of Geelong’s success journey is our growth in supply and supply from the region. The Western Corridor, our rail, road and port are key channels for distribution and now, with AirAsia’s launch later this year, the region will access Asian markets like never before. Product that had to be moved to freight forwarding and shipment out of Melbourne’s airport will now be in chain for movement from our own airport – Avalon. How exciting!!!

Yet with this comes the need for Geelong’s producers, transport and shipment companies to become much more savvy in planning for shipment. This initiates at the start of the supply chain and every piece in between.

Our TAFEs, RTO’s and university are yet to put in place courses for procurement, supply chain or logistics even though specialist qualifications in this area launched nationally in the 90’s. Geelong, up until now, has not needed to activate this “higher-order” skill set in vast capacity. This will be a skill we bring from capital cities until we can build capacity from within the region.

Other Professionals

Geelong is no longer a “blue-collar” heartland. Its transformation has seen the region change to white collar urban.

The last five years has seen the entrance of big or soon to be big players including Australian Bureau of Statistics, NDIA, Epworth Hospital, WorkSafe, Tango Energy, LittlePay, Live Tiles. These organisations are seeking skills in all white collar, professional arenas spanning Legal, Finance, Commercial, Accounting, Governance, Risk, Compliance, Safety, Transformation/Change, Program Management, HR, IT, Business and Data Analytics and Marketing.

The sourcing ground, if not imported from outside the region has come from many of Geelong’s medium employers. Such employers then fill their needs from their competitors or smaller players.

In short, the draw for talented professionals in Greater Geelong has surpassed the talent that resides within the region.

Key initiatives that will allow Geelong to succeed within this new landscape is to:

  • draw our professionals, who once called Geelong home, back to the region,
  • build a strong graduate/mentoring program that guarantees our graduates job opportunities and a career pathway within their home town, or
  • build our curriculum in local institutions to continue to feed the industries of today and tomorrow.

Without the ability to groom our own, we will continue to welcome new entrants who already bring skill for the roles at hand. This can be seen as a positive too, as population growth feeds our economy in many other ways.

…to be continuned…/

Article written by Harvest Human Resources Director, and employment landscape spectator, Maree Herath.

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