Western Sydney Jobs Summit calls for skills and training rethink

Belinda Wallis •
August 25, 2022

A Western Sydney Jobs and Skills Summit has today called on the Federal Government to commit to revitalising local vocational training to reskill, retrain and retool the region’s untapped workforce.

Held in Parramatta, the local summit brought together leading political, education, business and community representatives looking to boost national productivity, promote skills training and develop new employment opportunities ahead of next week’s national Jobs and Skills Summit.

Led by Federal Member for Parramatta, Dr Andrew Charlton MP, the summit was attended by 80 influential Greater Western Sydney representatives facilitated by leading not-for-profit advocacy groups Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue and Business Western Sydney.

Following today’s conference, a list of proposals and priorities for Western Sydney will be delivered to the Federal Government for discussion at the national Jobs and Skills Summit.

Dialogue Chairman, Christopher Brown AM, said it was clear there were opportunities to unlock the region’s workforce potential.

“Supporting women to enter the workplace and equipping young people with the skills industries require, now, and into the future, will help grow workforce participation for all,” Mr Brown said.

“This is Australia’s third-largest economy and its fastest growing region. By taking the opportunity to map out the region’s strengths and potential, we can ensure we continue to play an integral role in the nation’s economy.

“The Prime Minister’s summit provides a crucial opportunity for us to support the people, businesses and communities of GWS, and ensure that this region is front and centre of the national conversation around future jobs, enterprise and digital growth.

“Today we have brought together the key people who can help us build a stronger economic future, forge business partnerships and strengthen support within local communities.”

Executive Director of Business Western Sydney, David Borger, said the Parramatta summit addressed employment opportunities for all Australians.

“Western Sydney’s business leaders have tackled issues aimed at boosting productivity and delivering secure, well-paid jobs alongside sustainable growth,” Mr Borger said.

“This summit links the local economy and communities with national issues and initiatives to further build and strengthen this great region.

“This was an important discussion for one of the country’s most influential regions, and we look forward to working with all levels of government to build an even stronger region for the nation’s future prosperity.”

The Parramatta Jobs and Skills Summit today heard:

  1. Almost one-third of businesses reported having difficulty finding suitable staff, and most cited a lack of experience or skills as a major fact
  2. Of government-funded VET students who complete qualifications, 40% either didn’t get a job, or didn’t get a better job, than before they trained
  3. It is estimated that the average migrant to Australia makes a lifetime contribution of GDP or between $2.3million and $4.6million. It is higher if they are employed in an area for which they are skilled
  4. Female employment is relatively low in Parramatta – the percentage of women employed in Sydney is 62%, whereas in Parramatta it is 57%. In comparison, the percentage of men employed in Parramatta is 68%.


For media information contact Belinda Wallis – Media & Communications Manager Western Sydney Leadership Dialogue | belinda@westernsydney.org.au | 0466 386 887