Representatives of local business, education, union and community sector came together for a roundtable focused on challenges in employment and skills in the Hawkesbury
The roundtable is one of three hosted by Macquarie MP, Susan Templeman, ahead of the Federal Government's national Jobs and Skills Summit next month.
It gave locals the chance to identify challenges and solutions affecting the area and will be included in the submission Ms Templeman will present to the government to help formulate policy.
Meeting on Monday, August 15 at Windsor Function Centre, sectors including manufacturing, farming, retail and education were all represented.
It was discovered that the challenges faced by those in attendance generally fell into five categories - labour shortages, getting the right skills, employment rules and regulations, the liveability of the region, and recruitment and retention.
Ms Templeman said those categories encompassed a range of issues, including transport issues (closed train lines for potential employees), a smaller pool of people looking to work in certain industries, and a collective exhaustion in the wake of multiple natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic.
"It was good to get a range of views on the challenges, as well as possible solutions to help our area going forward," she said.
"We have come to government at a time of rising inflation and interest rates, falling real wages and a trillion dollars of debt," she said.
"In addition to those national economic challenges, our region has been hit with multiple natural disasters over almost three years, which has affected our local economy."
Ms Templeman said that was why she invited locals to be part of the roundtables, to have the local priority list fed into the national conversation and assist in formulating government policy.
"As I explained to those present at the roundtables, I will be preparing a brief to take to the summit so our concerns are on the table in Canberra," she said.
The Jobs and Skills Summit will be held at Parliament House in Canberra on September 1 and 2.
It will be led by the Prime Minister and Treasurer, working with all Ministers, with themes and outcomes informing the Employment White Paper - policy to shape the future of Australia's labour market.
The Summit will cover a range of topics with a focus on:
Ms Templeman said the Federal Government's goal was to build a bigger, better-trained and more productive workforce,.
"Boost incomes and living standards and create more opportunities for more Australians to get ahead," she said.
"It's clear Hawkesbury residents, business owners, and workers want their government to look ahead and make real plans so we can shape our future.
"I was very pleased so many joined me for such an important conversation and be a part of the solution."