The Palaszczuk Government will collaborate with industry and community on innovate solutions to current and future workforce challenges with the Queensland Workforce Summit to be held on March 11.

Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said a strong workforce was vital to rebuilding Queensland’s economy.

“Thanks to our strong health response, Queensland’s economy is growing six and a half times faster than the rest of the country,” the Minister said.

“However, significant workforce challenges that have affected businesses throughout Australia even before the pandemic, continue to have an impact here in Queensland.

“It is being felt in every sector and in every region.

“In fact, in some sectors, we’re creating more jobs than we have Queenslanders to fill them.

“Our government is committed to working with industry and the private and community sectors to address these challenges so we can continue to build back better with the labour force to do it.”

Minister Farmer said the Summit will focus on cooperatively planning the next phase of Queensland’s economic recovery.

“Prior to the Omicron outbreak, labour shortages were already being identified by businesses small and large across the country as the biggest challenge they faced,” the Minister said.

“We have a perfect storm of circumstances affecting the labour market right now, with international borders largely closed to this point, and the lowest unemployment rate in over 13 years.

“We will need to come up with out-of-the box solutions, which is why we’re bringing together the best and brightest minds for the Summit.

“This will help us stay ahead of the other states and territories, continuing to show Queensland is a great place to work and live.”

The Queensland Workforce Summit will be hosted by award-winning journalist Ellen Fanning with a keynote address from Deloitte Access Economics Lead Partner Dr Pradeep Philip.

Panellists will include:

  • Wayne Gerard, Queensland Chief Entrepreneur
  • Thérèse Rein, APM Employment Services
  • Dr David Rock, CEO – NeuroLeadership Institute
  • Sally Pitkin, Chair – Super Retail Group
  • Sally McManus, Secretary – ACTU

The theme of the Summit – Building our Future, Together – reflects the importance of a collaborative partnership approach to building the workforce needed to ensure Queensland’s continued prosperity.

The Palaszczuk Government continues to invest in employment and skills through Queensland’s $14.5 billion COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.

The Workforce Summit is part of the Big Plans for Small Business Strategy 2021-2023, released in June, to help small business to recover, grow and thrive. For more information, visit