Why do we need a new Economic Development Strategy?
The Wollongong economy is currently not generating enough jobs to enable all employed residents the opportunity to work locally. This is called a jobs deficit.
We want to create an environment where the economy will grow and fewer residents will need to leave the area to work. The main purpose of this Strategy is to alter the current situation and improve and increase local employment opportunities through innovative projects and new approaches to job creation.
What are the main Goals of the Economic Development Strategy?
The three main goals of the draft Strategy are:
Jobs target – to generate 10,500 new jobs in the next decade to reduce the jobs deficit. This will be more than double the 4998 net new jobs created up to 2019.
Lift average incomes – focus on generating new jobs in industries that are higher-paying, have a greater share of full-time jobs and are expected to grow in the future.
How has the draft Strategy been developed?
The draft Strategy has been developed using feedback from key stakeholders, economic modelling and desktop research. We have also looked at best practice approaches used in other areas to generate jobs. We met with small groups of interested parties and also conducted a business survey. We engaged with several stakeholders who provided their expertise and visions for the future economic direction of Wollongong. A reference group of local business and government representatives guided development of the draft Strategy and provided expert advice and feedback.
In total we directly met with over 130 stakeholders and almost 300 small business owners via a business survey.
How will the Economic Development Strategy inform decision making?
The Economic Development Strategy will focus Council’s decision-making over the next decade on the importance of supporting and attracting businesses and lifting the job generating capacity of the local economy.