Employment provides income for housing, food, and clothing. It also can provide the luxuries of life such as recreational, cultural, and leisure pursuits. Furthermore, employment provides opportunity to meet the need for personal growth and achievement and contributes to community and society growth and maintenance. Conditions that support a healthy balance between work, health, life, and family, support employment success. Employment sectors such as agriculture, dairy and marine can be vulnerable to many of the external influences such as globalisation, climate change, and natural disasters and must engage in sustainable practices to survive.
Accessibility, connections, and flexibility are also major principles as gaining access to work opportunities can attract residents or force families to leave communities. Diverse opportunities for a range of employment and working hours (casual, part time, full time) contribute to a more vibrant and robust employment sector as does the ability to connect using telecommunication platforms which make working remotely possible.
There have been several significant influences that have affected the GSC region’s employment in recent years. These include bushfires, drought, the downturn in the dairy industry, globalisation and trade wars, and the pandemic.
Employment in the rural & regional areas is often made up of more vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, forestry & fishing; hospitality/tourism, and small owner/self-employed businesses. Due to a lack of diversity in employment choice, businesses are particularly impacted by a lack of flexibility, but can be a great source of community connection, social cohesion & inclusion, and a vital attraction to prospective new residents and/or visitors.
There are many individual policies (including the National budget) that impact regional employment. In broad terms, Australia’s employment objectives can be found in the following paper: Australia G20 Employment Plan 2018 – Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Australian Government (dese.gov.au)
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