I would like to sincerely thank the more than 300 business people who attended the Western Sydney Business Forum.
It was a great opportunity to highlight Government investment and to hear directly from businesses.
With Western Sydney undergoing an incredible transformation, it is vital that we capitalise on the opportunities for business in employment and growth.
WHAT’S BUSINESS SAYING
One of the salient points made during the Business Forum was the current severe shortage of skilled employment across a broad area of industries including construction, motor vehicle and electricity trades right up to senior management and IT staff.
It is imperative that our planning addresses the current and future skills shortage in our region.
FUTURE TRENDS: EMPLOYMENT & GROWTH
Our population is growing rapidly as more people move to Western Sydney to enjoy a higher quality of life. An expected 1 million additional people will move to the region by 2031.
This presents both opportunities and challenges.
There is enormous potential for businesses to grow and capitalise on Government investment in critical infrastructure.
The challenge is to locate jobs in Western Sydney that will correspond with the skill sets of the next generation of residents.
Currently, over 300,000 people leave the region each day for work; and in 15 years’ time there will be a predicted shortfall of 200,000 jobs.
While Western Sydney maintains a strong manufacturing sector, employing over 90,000 people, the next generation of young employees will need to be innovative and highly skilled.
There is potential for businesses to cluster around innovation hubs, currently being created through ‘Mixed Use’ land zones; a successful formula seen to great effect in the Norwest Business Park.
This is one of several approaches used to equip the next generation of employees with greater access to high skilled employment closer to home.
WHAT’S THE GOVERNMENT DOING?
In order to attract jobs to the region, the Government is focussed on improving road connectivity, transport and infrastructure.
In 10 years’ time, visitors will fly directly into Western Sydney Airport at Badgery’s Creek.
This has already activated significant investment both domestically and internationally, particularly from science, aviation and freight industries.
Additionally, both the NSW and Federal Government are spending over $3.5 billion in road infrastructure around the new airport.
Educational institutions are preparing the next generation of employees who will have direct access to jobs in the identified 10,000 hectares of available Western Sydney employment land adjoining the new airport site.
Business will also benefit through new infrastructure projects designed to increase connectivity and to cater for an increase in population. These projects include:
WestConnex: connecting the M4 to Sydney, the airports and the M5 via a tunnel under Parramatta Rd, linking Western Sydney to every corner of the metropolitan area.
NorthConnex: providing a tunnel under Pennant Hills Rd, linking the M2 at Pennant Hills to the M1 at Wahroonga, removing 10,000 heavy vehicles per day on Pennant Hills Rd.
Parramatta Light Rail: connecting Carlingford to Parramatta, Homebush and Strathfield, bringing businesses and employers closer to employees and customers.
Sydney Metro City, Northwest & Southwest: providing a rapid metro rail line to transport 45,000 people per hour around the Sydney metropolitan, commencing at Rouse Hill through to the CBD then out to Sydenham and Bankstown.
Campbelltown & Rouse Hill Hospitals: two new hospitals to be built in the growing Macarthur and Northwest, along with record investment into Westmead, Blacktown and Nepean hospitals. Health is currently the second largest employer in Western Sydney and will continue to be a major source of jobs.
All these projects are encouraging businesses to relocate to Western Sydney. With improved connectivity and transport, it will be easier than ever for people to work closer to home.
We always welcome your feedback. For further information, please contact my office on (02) 8882 9555 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.