A history of struggles to find workers throughout the North and North-West continues, as answers to the problem keep evading the federal government.
At a midweek forum in Launceston federal education minister Alan Tudge accepted advice about the state of childcare in Tasmania.
The recurring response at the workshop demonstrated a lack of skilled workers for childcare roles propagated a systemic issue whereby options became full, not because of physical space, but because there weren't enough workers to enable more placements to be filled.
Mr Tudge said the issue was fairly consistent across Australia, but it was particularly "acute" in Launceston.
"This is a particular problem here and I would say I've never heard the issue expressed so strongly as here in Northern Tasmania," he said.
Mr Tudge pointed to part of the government's response - added opportunity for potential job seekers to upskill via COVID inspired JobTrainer.
"In the budget we allocated 450,000 more places in the JobTrainer program, of which for Tasmania is about 3500 additional places," he said.
However, as federal employment and workforce minister Stuart Robert told The Examiner the 3433 additional places would only be secured if the Tasmanian government matches the $10.5 million it costs the federal government to make those places available.
"This arrangement is subject to negotiations with the Tasmanian government," he said.
From when JobTrainer began at the start of the year to March 31 there were been 2731 enrolments in JobTrainer courses and 334 reported completions.
Though the problem may be acute in the childcare sector, reports of shortages across skilled roles in the North and North-West of Tasmania are nothing new, and not confined.
According to the latest labour force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Tasmania has the lowest employment to population ratio at 57.5 per cent and the highest unemployment, underemployment and participation rates in the country.
Participation rates represent the percentage of Tasmanians that are able to work and are employed, in Tasmania the rate is 61.3 per cent.
NSW has a percentage of 65.3, Victoria 66.5, Queensland 66.4, South Australia 62.8, Western Australia 68 and Northern Territory 72.
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Noticing the issue, the federal government introduced Jobs Fairs in Devonport in 2018. Since then two have been held at the North-West town as well as 2020's iteration available virtually.
Mr Robert said across the two physical Devonport Job Fairs more than 900 jobs were available.
"These included apprenticeships and traineeships, with a high number of roles in agriculture, government and defence, as well as construction and trades; health care and social assistance; and hospitality and tourism," he said.
How many of those roles were filled is unknown.
Mr Robert said the government was committed to ensuring Australians had skills to access job opportunities as the economy recovered from the pandemic.
Although, the low participation rate in Tasmania predates the pandemic. In the corresponding month in 2019 to the latest ABS data the participation percentage was 61.5 per cent.
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The highest the Tasmanian percentage has been since the data began to be recorded in 1978 was 63.3 in December 1990.
TasTAFE is one of the largest Tasmanian registered training organisations who received federal government funding to offer JobTrainer places.
Chief executive Grant Dreher said the organisation had been "proactive" in responding to a clear skills shortage across Tasmania.
578 JobTrainer places had been taken up across the North and North-West since their February intake.
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