- 6 June 2018
Goulburn Connect was held at The Collective on Tuesday night and the winter weather certainly didn’t deter businesses. Over 50 people attended the networking event and listened to a number of ‘pitches’ from local businesses and community groups. Positively, there was a strong mix of new faces and returning businesses in the room.
Dean Seeley, from Bizy Global, introduced the evening and reiterated the purpose of Goulburn Connect; to share information, collaborate and meet likeminded businesses. Kayla O’Brien, from BDCU, shared a ‘fun fact’ about the Goulburn Mulwaree region, stating that there are currently 2360 businesses in the region, an increase of 33 from 2016. What this means? Goulburn is growing, it’s an exciting time to be in business and it’s more important than ever to collaborate and work together.
The dominant theme for the night was skills shortages in the Goulburn Mulwaree region. Michele Naughton, from Tallong Outdoor Education and Retreat Centre, spoke about the challenges she experiences around recruitment and training, particularly finding qualified staff in hospitality, cleaning and outdoor recreation. Michele needs recreation staff to have a Certificate III or IV in Outdoor Recreation. However, because this course is not offered locally, she struggles to find suitable local staff.
Matt Maas, from EyeAbove, spoke about his challenge to expand his drone photography business. Matt has been gradually expanding for the past 12 months and now needs a new employee. The problem? They need a Cert III in Aviation to fly drones. The course is not offered locally and an expensive one to complete.
Following these two real world examples of skills shortages, Camilla Staff from RDA Southern Inland, spoke about their Skills Audit Report that was recently released, which found that 63% of businesses in Goulburn have a skills shortage. Camilla asked businesses in the room for ideas, insight and strategies to address the local skills shortage. She emphasised that any strategy must involve collaboration amongst industry, education providers and government.
Other pitches included Simon France, from AusIndustry, who spoke about a new Goulburn Incubator in the works, which will support and develop local start-ups. To those passionate about seeing businesses and our region grow, Simon encouraged them to invest in the project. A lunch will be organised on the 21st June and people are encouraged to come along and see how the incubator will work and how they can help. For more information, contact RDA Southern Inland.
Dinko Colak, from Canberra Business Chamber, encouraged businesses who are currently exporting to apply for the Australian Export Awards and Mark Bradbury from the Goulburn Chamber of Commerce, discussed the Goulburn Australia Business Excellence Awards. Mark encouraged businesses in the room to get moving and nominate a worthy business for one of the 11 awards.
Peter Frazer, from Community Energy 4 Goulburn, also spoke about the Goulburn Community Solar Farm, which, once up and running, could be the biggest community owned solar farm in NSW. Construction is due to start in the next 3 months and he encouraged businesses and individuals to invest in the project, promising all profits to remain in Goulburn and all energy to be sold back to Goulburn.
The formalities of the evening were over in 15 minutes, allowing time for businesses to network over some local Kingsdale Wine and pumpkin soup provided by Harvest Café.
The next Goulburn Connect will be held on the 3rd July 2018 from 5.30pm at The Collective.
Goulburn Connect is proudly supported by RDA Southern Inland, Goulburn Chamber of Commerce, AusIndustry, CBRIN (Canberra Innovation Network), The Collective, Goulburn Mulwaree Council and Workspace 2580.