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Country Universities Centre provide important pipeline for the workforce in regional NSW

February 23 2023

A recent Regional Australia Institute (RAI) report commissioned by the County Universities Centre (CUC) highlights the importance of the NSW government and CUC working together in regional NSW to address the demand and supply of labour.

The Country Universities Centre is a network of affiliated centres that create dedicated learning and study spaces for local students of higher (both university and non-university) education. Students have free access to high-speed internet, modern technology, and face-to-face general academic support delivered in their local CUC.

Currently the eleven CUCs in regional NSW are supporting more than 1,000 tertiary students – important future contributors to the local labour supply. 286 are enrolled in health and education related courses; 156 in community and social work and 206 in education, mainly early and primary education.

The RAI Job Vacancy report in December 2022 showed that 13 percent of the 84,000 job vacancies were in Community and Personal Service roles.

The NSW government is a key employer in health care, social assistance and education and training, but given labour shortages it has to compete for skilled workers to fill local jobs against a range of other employers.

“CUCs are playing a crucial role supporting the pipeline of local labour supply into regions across NSW” said Chris Ronan, Acting CEO of the CUC.

“Supporting and working with CUCs will be an important and effective strategy for the NSW Government to build and maintain the workforce it needs to deliver key services in regional NSW when there is intense competition for skilled staff,” Mr Ronan added.

Demand for labour across Australia remains high, yet supply is very low.

“Recent RAI data shows the regional labour market is extremely tight, coupled with the highest participation rate we have seen in 30 years,” said RAI CEO Liz Ritchie.

“The CUCs are playing a critical role in contributing to filling projected skilled workforce needs in regional NSW,” Ms Ritchie concluded.

Read the full report HERE.

For media enquiries contact:

Regional Australia Institute 
Amanda Barwick
Ph: 0429142232
E: [email protected]

Country Universities Centre 
Chris Ronan
Ph: 0412 573 754
E: [email protected]