I am becoming increasingly concerned with all the talk about the need to invest $ millions in retraining for those who are coming out of industry segments that are in decline. What about investing in the skills of small to medium business owners who will be ones who are in a position to to employ more people in the future.
There is no point in retraining if the future jobs are not there for people to transition to. And do we really know what skills are required for the needs of business in the future ?
The fact is that large scale manufacturing, as we have been used to in the past, is redundant in this country and we have known this was happening for a while . Unfortunately many have had their head in the sand and could not accept that change was coming and that there was an end date. Smart business business operators read the tea leaves early and set about changing their business models and embraced a culture of innovation and new technology.They became niche specialist in their field and will be the winners in the future seeing growth and the need to employ more staff .
According to ABS data, businesses with an annual revenue of between $50,000 and $200,000 are the most common in Australia. Numbers posted in the press last weekend state that there are 539,000 registered business in Victoria and only 6.4% had a revenue of more then $2 million in 2013.
Unfortunately many business operators lack the business kills and acumen at this smaller end and that’s why we also see 15% of business in the under $200,000 turnover range closed last year.
A large part of the future of a successful regional economy , especially in the Geelong and surrounding regions, will be driven by private enterprise . They don’t always need dollars thrown at them. They need a fair and equitable business environment and a lessening of the big getting bigger.
This is where we have the greatest opportunity for sustained employment in the future
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