Most of Australia’s major cities, Canberra included, continue to face a serious skills shortage. Just over 12 months ago, Chief Minister Jon Stanhope launched the Live in Canberra campaign with the aim of ‘selling’ Canberra’s job opportunities and lifestyle benefits to families in south and southwest Sydney fed up with the rat race.
With a prestigious Public Relations Institute of Australia national Golden Target Award to its credit, the campaign has now expanded throughout Australia and overseas, in what has been a best practice example of government, business and community sectors working together to tackle the skills shortage head on.
Campaign director, Jeremy Lasek, said the Live in Canberra campaign had exceeded all expectations. “While it’s difficult to quantify, the team is aware of at least 50 families and individuals who have moved here as a result of the campaign, and this number continues to grow each week. It’s great news for the ACT,” Mr Lasek said.
Although Mr Lasek acknowledges that the Live in Canberra campaign alone will not solve the skills issue, significant progress has been made in a relatively short amount of time.
Since the campaign’s launch, the Live in Canberra team has responded to thousands of emails and phone calls from people seeking advice about making the move. Over 1500 information packs have been sent out and the Live in Canberra website has had over 40,000 visits with 25 per cent of these now coming from overseas. With seminars and marketing material, the team have assisted hundreds of employers in Canberra recruit skilled workers from interstate and overseas.
As well as two targeted campaigns in Sydney and the Illawarra region, Live in Canberra also attended ‘Country Week’ in Sydney and the ‘Australia Needs Skills’ expos in the UK and Ireland.
This recent push into the overseas market sparked a significant increase in the number of applicants to the ACT’s Skilled and Business Migration program. A comprehensive database of over 1000 people with the skills Canberra needs has been developed. In the past year, 110 skilled workers from overseas have had applications approved to work in the territory. A further 35 applications are pending.
As the competition between the states and territories to attract and retain skilled workers becomes more intense, Live in Canberra is full steam ahead for the upcoming year and currently recruiting new supporters for the next 12 months from our business sector.
“With IP Australia, Service One, IELTS, Forde Developments and the Australian Public Service Commission the latest new organisations to come on board with Live in Canberra, the campaign will continue to build on its strong relationships in the ACT community, ” Mr Lasek said.
For further information, phone 6205 3188 or visit www.liveincanberra.com.au