The Broome Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BCCI) confirms that many of our local businesses are unable to fulfil their workforce needs to meet current demand, despite the state and federal government strategies and initiatives implemented during and post COVID-19. For example, 77% of responding businesses have significant concerns that they will not be able to respond to demand for the next 6 – 12 months due to these issues.
The BCCI, in partnership with the Derby Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Fitzroy Crossing Business Network, undertook a Labour Snapshot Survey to seek feedback from our members and the greater business community within the West Kimberley region, and enable us to provide that feedback directly to key government stakeholders.
Key findings include:
- Activities for local businesses has increased significantly post COVID where 71% are looking to recruit workers for the next 6 – 12 months;
- Businesses in the West Kimberley are now providing significant benefits to employees to entice them to the region including higher wages/salaries, accommodation, relocation incentives and company vehicles;
- Semi-skilled (ticketed/licenced, etc) and qualified staff are in demand to fulfil workforce shortages;
- International worker programs (i.e. Pacific Labour Mobility, Seasonal Worker Programs, Designated Area Migration Agreements) are not understood and have not been widely promoted as potential solutions to addressing workforce shortages for key staffing requirements for small business;
- Lack of applicants and access to affordable accommodation remain the major barrier to recruiting;
Whilst it is anticipated that the ceasing of the Australian Governments JobKeeper and JobSeeker programs will increase the motivation for individuals to re-enter the workforce to address many of these shortages, lack of suitable workers, requirement of skills and qualifications and access to affordable accommodation remain the biggest barrier to addressing the workforce needs of the West Kimberley region.