Regional Development Australia Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula (RDAWEP) is pleased with the announcement of the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA), which will boost population and improve business confidence in South Australia’s regions.

Regional Development South Australia chairman, Rob Kerin said the DAMA would help the State’s regions to secure up to $20 billion of investment and support the creation of 9,500 jobs.

“The announcement of a regional DAMA will help South Australia’s regions overcome declining and static populations with the settling of migrants state-wide,” he said.

“South Australia’s regions are currently experiencing significant capital investment across many industries.

“However, the number of employees needed to maintain and grow regional business operations outweighs the current locally-based workforce, requiring businesses to supplement their workforce with migrants.”

The announcement of new investments in Whyalla and Eyre Peninsula increases the significance of the DAMA to the region, as a need for more workers with different skill sets grows.

Work by RDAWEP significantly strengthened the DAMA’s business case, contributing information on local employment needs, growth outlooks and skills gaps in the region.

Mr Kerin said some of regional South Australia’s most significant and emerging industries are those with the greatest skill and labour needs, such as agribusiness, food manufacturing and processing, renewable energy, and aged and disability care.

However, he stressed migrant workers will not replace the local workforce, with training and upskilling an area of focus for RDAWEP and all of South Australia’s RDAs and businesses.

“South Australia’s regional townships have a long history of welcoming migrant settlement, recognising the value of the import of much needed skills but also the strength of a multicultural community,” Mr Kerin said.

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