The Central West Outback Tourism Skills Formation Strategy (SFS) commenced 27 January 2009. It was a two-year funded position under the Department of Education and Training Queensland Skills Plan 2008, and transitioned to industry in January 2011.

The success of the strategy was dependent on industry engagement and ownership of the activities designed around the identified issues and strategic solutions.

SFS project objectives

  • Support workforce and labour supply issues by building the capacity of the industry/region.
  • Local Government Pathways to Sustainable Tourism workshops were facilitated as wider strategic planning at Local Government level was required to incorporate skills development. The workshops involved all seven councils of the RAPAD region and increased industry capacity. This has been demonstrated through councils now having the tools and understanding to develop a strategic plan which will encompass, as one component, skills development strategies for tourism, and methods of engagement with stakeholders at a local government area (LGA) level. An Industry Reference Group Action Plan will deliver a timeframe for each LGA to have completed this and the next step will be to review these strategic plans on a regional level and look for synergies and duplications between councils. RAPAD provided funding for this workshop to the value of $5000, in support of the SFS project.
  • Support industries/regional workforce initiatives by enhancing the capacity of the education and training system.
  • In conjunction with the Research Phase Report, a scoping plan and gap analysis was carried out to identify the needs and expectations of the tourism sector (relating to employment needs and skills development).
  • Assistance was provided by the SFS Project Officer for the coordination of short term training solutions such as Passion in the Outback and Getting the Most Out of Tourism workshops delivered in Blackall, Barcaldine, Longreach and Winton. The workshops aimed to assist industry with immediate training needs and business development as identified through the scoping stage.
  • The SFS Project Officer distributes information on current training opportunities and raise awareness of importance of training, skilling and up-skilling.
  • Support labour and workforce issues into the future by developing ongoing industry/regionally owned processes of engagement.
  • Tourism Employee Online Induction and Local Government Pathways to sustainable tourism workshop are building industry capacity, enhancing the community’s ability to create locally owned processes of engagement.

The SFS project officer assisted industries develop and run tourism familiarisations and expos (Longreach Tourism Expo; Careers, Carers, Health, and Arts Expo, Queensland Country & Regional Living Expo). For more on the SFS project see Project Highlights for 2009  and Project Outcomes.