OPPORTUNITIES GROWING: Fencing contractor Doug Roe is part of a labour-intensive industry Cr Glen Hartwig would like to see grow.
OPPORTUNITIES GROWING: Fencing contractor Doug Roe is part of a labour-intensive industry Cr Glen Hartwig would like to see grow. Renee Albrecht

Challenges for industry as Gympie gets bigger and older

GYMPIE'S population is set to grow larger and older, with an expected growth rate offset by an an average age increase of more than four years.

According to the Gympie Regional Council's 2017 Economic Profile, the region will have a "significant increase" in the number of residents aged 65 or older in the next 20 years.

The profile, which compiles data from sources including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, said the average age of Gympie's population in 2036 is expected to be 45.9 years old, an increase of 4.5 years from that recorded in 2015.

This increase will be significantly larger than the expected Queensland increase of 2.9 years.

However, in this same period Gympie's population is expected to grow by more than 11,000 people.

South Gympie has had the largest growth - with an annual growth of 1.6% from 2011 to 2016 - and is expected to have a 1.9% average growth rate in the next 20years.

Economic development councillor Glen Hartwig said growth in the region was good and the council needed to be well-prepared to face the challenges it presented.

 

Councillor Glen Hartwig.
Councillor Glen Hartwig. Renee Albrecht

"There will be growth opportunities in home care, nursing and elderly assistance, but that in itself creates challenges in infrastructure and people to fill those positions," CrHartwig said.

He added there also needed to be a focus on attracting business that relied on apprenticeships or labour roles to boost employment for young people.

It was also important to explore innovative and technology industries in the region, and promote their growth.

"With an aging population there are opportunities for employment, but we should be value-adding industries that give long-term security to the youth," he said.

Gympie Times


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