THE latest data from the Census shows health care and social assistance is driving employment in Geelong, with more than 20,000 residents in the G21 region employed in the two industries.
Last month, the Geelong Region Local Learning and Employment Network (GRLLEN) released figures noting that since the 2006 Census, there has been a 35 per cent increase in the number of G21 residents working in the health care sector.
Other industries that have consistently experienced growth over the past two Census collections are construction (up 25.61 per cent), education and training (up 27.16 per cent), accommodation and food services (up 25.6 per cent) and public administration and safety (up 25 per cent).
GRLLEN has been focusing on capacity-building in the health care industry for several years, forming partnerships and developing programs that encourage Geelong’s young people to consider a career within the growing sector.
Programs such as ‘Experience Community Services’ and ‘Taster Days’ enable students to experience the wide range of career options available, and provide them with information about the pathway options post-school to help them move into employment in this sector.
The network has an ongoing role in educating the region’s young people about their futures and in creating a community of practice where key players can exchange information and learn from local, national and international sources.
Dr Jude Walker, GRLLEN labour market analyst and futurist, is working on analysing the data which has come out of the Census, and the network will progressively release data over the coming months as it relates to where people live and work in the region.
“The growth we are seeing is no longer restricted to just one or two industries, but is spread across a range of sectors and this is very good for the economic and social health of the region,” Dr Walker said.
“We need to ensure that our education/training system is adequately preparing young people and career changers for work in a dynamic and changing labour market.”