We are all worried about young people’s futures as the nightly news outlines the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the industries where they find entry-level work. And yet, when we sent nine interns out to interview employers in growing industries in our region, everyone—both employers and interns—came out hopeful.
There is no doubt that the job market is tough, but this research shows that there are long-term opportunities for young people in regional areas and that many of our growing industries are experiencing skill shortages. Our largest industries need younger workers as they expand, and aging workforces retire. Young people in our regions could find advantages over their city counterparts by doing a stint of work here.
To make sure we can build both the jobs (demand) and pipeline of young workers (supply) in our growing regional industries, we need the right policy response in recovery. The future of a robust regional economy that provides food, energy, hospitality, and other products and services to all Victoria, depends on it.