What Coffs Coast jobs are growing over the next decade?
AS non-metropolitan areas such as the Coffs Coast look for future employment opportunities the Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has nominated jobs with real long term prospects.
Vacancies for machinery operators and drivers have grown by a staggering 44 per cent in regions over the past two years, while research shows technicians and trades workers are also needed.
On that statement alone those agitating for increased funding for TAFE trades courses can make a pretty fair argument for governments to support their calls.
But before anybody jumps to conclusions it's only trades and lower skilled workers in demand, vacancies for managers and professionals have also grown by 20 per cent and 23 per cent respectively since February 2016.
With high profile local projects announced or already underway in recent weeks, those findings fit neatly with what the RAI is saying.
The starting date for the Coffs Harbour bypass is still fluid depending on which political party is speaking but it will certainly have the most obvious need for workers with skills in the earthmoving, plumbing, electrical or other building-related fields.
Even if the magical date is still over the horizon there's one enterprise now underway which certainly dovetails nicely.
The Shoreline retirement living project began last week at Park Beach and Bachrach Naumburger Group general manager Steve Gooley has a better handle on the types of jobs and numbers to be employed over the six years it will take until final completion.
"Even now in the early stages we think it will bring more jobs than we anticipated,” he said.
"The first stage with AJ Civil doing the preparatory works will last into 2019 and as many as 250 workers will be working on the site.
"Once walls start going up there will be jobs for upwards of 180 people.
"What sort of jobs?
"Concreters, formworkers, plumbers, earthmoving equipment operators, electricians, glaziers and a management team walking around with plans.
"There may also be other things we think of that will need other employees.”
That's music to the ears of RAI chief executive Jack Archer who said the current rise in vacancies and growth in job opportunities in regions is no flash in the pan.
"Employers in regions tell us regularly that they have jobs unfilled, that they have stopped advertising or are making do with expensive temporary migrants to get by,” he said.
"This costs those business and local economies heavily and is a drag on overall national job growth.
"Meeting the job demand for regions with workers is fundamental to the future.”