2023 ‘Career Starter’ Category Winner

Moreton Bay Regional Council, QLD

My Future in Moreton Bay - Virtual Work Experience Program

The Initiative

The shortage of skilled workers in Moreton Bay is one of the lasting legacies of COVID-19. In response to feedback from industry about the difficulty of sourcing and retaining workers who often don’t have a clear understanding of their role and requirements, Moreton Bay Regional Council created a free virtual career experience program to give potential talent a taste of the workforce, while addressing supply shortages. Council partnered with The Forage, an international leader in virtual work experience programs, to develop My Future in Moreton Bay, a first for an Australian local government.

My Future in Moreton Bay is designed to give potential workers (with a focus on Year 10-12 students) a step ahead in the workforce and provide them with the suitable skills for a career in Moreton Bay long-term.

It also helps promote our region and its opportunities at a national level to 240,000 registered participants and two million users internationally. There are eight online modules covering the region’s four priority industries: Advanced Manufacturing; Food and Agribusiness; Tourism; Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Industry representatives including local companies and TAFE Queensland helped inform the relevant topics, themes and tasks. The flexible training modules allow participants to complete them in their own time and at their own pace. Participants receive a digital certificate after completing the program to share on their resume and with employers.

As the third-largest council in Australia, Moreton Bay is home to more than 30,000 local businesses. his virtual work experience program helps boost workforce pathways and helps foster a generation of young residents seeking employment across our region.

The program will help transform and modernise the region’s economy and help it stand out in a crowded marketplace where talent is scarce and mobile. The program matches people to priority industry needs and enables time-poor businesses to interview potential recruits who are already predisposed to their industry.

My Future in Moreton Bay has been successful. For example, The Forage reports that employers are twice as likely to advance a graduate of the virtual work experience program to interview stage, and they are four times more likely to extend an offer to a graduate of the program than to a candidate who has not completed the program.

About the Category

The ‘Career Starter’ category recognises outstanding career starter initiatives in local government which:

  • support entry-level employment opportunities in local government through apprenticeships, traineeships or cadetships;
  • implement initiatives in the workplace which help to improve the progress and representation of junior employees;
  • establish programs to support and encourage emerging leaders, including mentoring, networking and training opportunities; and/or
  • demonstrate an outstanding apprentice, trainee or cadet who is making a difference to their community and workplace and who has been outstanding in all aspects of their training.

Successful initiatives in this award category benefit communities by:

  • promoting greater roles for young people, new entrants and those seeking a career change;
  • increasing workforce participation from people of all ages, and supporting succession planning and knowledge retention in the council and community; and/or
  • creating new opportunities for members of the community to work and stay in their region while being able to reach their potential.

See More