Government must support displaced Hunter workers during energy transition

The availability and effectiveness of retraining programs for displaced workers would be a key factor in the the success of the Hunter's energy transition, the head of Australia's peak career development body believes.

Human resource: Government support is needed to help displaced Hunter workers in coming years.

Career Development Association Australia president Linda Jeffrey said state and federal governments traditionally worked in isolation regarding the provision of retraining and education programs.

As a result, resources were not effectively allocated and some individuals missed out.

"While there are examples of best practice, often these things happen in a piecemeal way and there is no overarching coordination between the governments," Ms Jeffrey said.

In order to avoid this occurring in the Hunter, a growing number of individuals and groups have called for the establishment of an independent joint authority to oversee the region's energy transition.

Among other things the joint authority would have statutory power to allocate training and education resources to where they are most needed.

Ms Jeffrey suggested the state government's $25million Resources for Resilience fund could be a suitable funding source for education and training.

She cited the Tasmanian government's Rapid Skills Initiative as a possible model for providing education and retraining support for displaced workers in the Hunter in coming years.

Read the full article published in the Newcastle Herald 8th May 2022