Monthly Market Review April 2024

Posted on Tuesday, May 7, 2024 by Kieran MoranNo comments

Resilience and Innovation behind CQ’s growing jobs market

In Central Queensland, keeping tabs on the job scene is serious business. Every month, Connecting Industry Talent conducts surveys with over 1,000 employers, giving us the lowdown on what's happening in the employment arena. This data isn't just valuable for job seekers; it's essential for understanding employer needs and market trends.

The most recent data showed a consistent level of hiring activity, with 49% of employers indicating they were on the lookout for new talent – the same as the previous month. However, compared to the same period last year, there's been a slight decline of about 6 percentage points. While major urban areas experienced a marginal drop in recruitment, regional areas saw a modest increase, illustrating the regional variations in employment dynamics.

Insights into the regional Job Market

Despite the steady hiring pace, recruitment remains a challenge for many employers. While there was a slight improvement in the proportion of employers facing recruitment difficulties for the second consecutive month, half of them still reported encountering obstacles in finding suitable candidates.

When it comes to business size, larger enterprises appear to have an easier time navigating the recruitment landscape compared to small and medium-sized businesses. However, both face their own set of challenges, underscoring the complexities of the hiring process across different business scales.

In a region characterised by diverse industries, here in Central Queensland, employers seeking candidates with higher skill levels continue to encounter difficulties, with 62% reporting challenges in filling positions requiring advanced skills. This highlights the importance of ongoing skills development and training initiatives to meet industry demands effectively.

Looking ahead, there has been a notable adjustment in employers' staffing outlook. The proportion of employers anticipating an increase in their workforce over the next three months decreased by 4 percentage points to 22%. Conversely, there was a slight uptick in the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in staffing levels, signalling a need for flexibility and adaptability in workforce planning.

A snapshot of recent developments boosting CQ employment

Central Queensland is gearing up for a wave of economic growth, with several major projects set to create hundreds of jobs across the region. From renewable energy initiatives to infrastructure upgrades, these developments promise to inject vitality into the local economy and support the region's transition towards a more sustainable future.

The federal government's commitment to bolstering Australia's critical minerals sector has materialised in significant funding allocations for projects in Queensland and South Australia. In Gladstone, Australia's first high-purity alumina processing facility is slated to receive a substantial boost of $400 million in loans. This investment, part of the federal government's $4 billion Critical Minerals Facility, underscores the importance of securing a domestic supply chain for critical minerals essential for renewable technologies.

Renewable energy takes centre stage in Central Queensland with the commencement of construction at Acciona Energia's Aldoga Solar Farm near Gladstone. With an investment of $500 million, this project is expected to generate up to 350 jobs during its 18-month construction phase, providing a significant boost to the local economy. Set to be operational by mid-2026, the solar farm will contribute to Central Queensland's renewable energy capacity and support the region's transition towards a low-carbon future.

The project's significance extends beyond its environmental benefits, with the energy generated earmarked for powering the proposed Central Queensland Hydrogen Hub. This integrated approach to renewable energy production underscores the region's potential as a hub for clean energy innovation and industrial development.

Central Queensland's beef industry is also set to receive a major infrastructure boost, with $500 million allocated for upgrades to priority road corridors. In partnership with the federal government, the Queensland government aims to improve road infrastructure vital for the beef supply chain, enhancing safety and efficiency for livestock transporters across the region.

An early works package targeting key road projects is in the pipeline, with construction expected to commence progressively from 2024-25. These investments not only support the beef industry's growth but also contribute to the broader economic development of Central Queensland, ensuring the region remains a cornerstone of Australia's agricultural sector.

In conclusion

Central Queensland is experiencing transformative change.   These initiatives not only promise to create jobs and drive economic growth but also position the region as a leader in sustainable development. With a focus on innovation and collaboration and an agile and responsive workforce, the CQ region remains poised to seize emerging opportunities and sustain its trajectory of growth in the years ahead. 

Connecting Industry Talent offer a holistic approach to your recruitment and talent attraction requirements. 

For more information and insights about local job opportunities, register by connecting here now.

Tim O'Brien: Connecting Industry Director.

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