The Health and Community services sector employs over 16,000 people in Gippsland and is expected to grow significantly in the coming years in line with demographic changes - resulting in increased opportunities in diverse fields.

Latrobe Valley Authority, in partnership with Latrobe Regional Hospital and Latrobe City Council commissioned Swinburne University of Technology to develop a report on Gippsland's future workforce requirements. This report involved data collection from employers across Gippsland. It outlines the key characteristics of the sector now and for the future and shows, not only growth in a range of occupations, but also the key skills required by individual practitioners in order to serve the community well for the future.

The Latrobe Valley Authority has facilitated a number of consultations and engagement around this work and, in December 2019, the final report was officially launched. The Report provides a framework for action by forecasting growth to 2036 and identifies the key technical and social (enterprise) skill sets required for successful participation in this workforce in the future..

Quick facts from the report

General demographics of the region

  • Growth in employment in the sector is driven by the ageing of the population. The median age in Gippsland rose from 32 in 1986 to 45 by 2016.The median age is expected to continue to rise to 47 by 2036.
  • The population will rise at a rate below that of the national average, but in the two western Local Government Areas (LGAs) (Bass Coast and Baw Baw) at a rate above that of the national average. In five of the six LGAs it is expected that the number of births will rise.

Employment in the sector

  • The sector employs around 14,000 people in Gippsland, seven per cent of the workforce and produces nine per cent of the region’s value add. Over the past few decades growth in employment in the sector has been at an annual rate of between five and seven per cent and this rate is expected to slow to three per cent for the next ten years and then two per cent in the decade after. These reduced rates are still higher than the growth of the economy and workforce overall.
  • As well as the 14,000 employed directly in the sector, an additional approximate figure of 2,000 people are employed in related administration and clerical duties in the industry and a similar figure in hotel and allied duties.
  • Nurses and aged and disability carers are the occupations with the largest numbers. Other occupations with substantial numbers include social workers, and allied health workers such as physiotherapists, pharmacists, paramedics, doctors and dentists.
  • Gippsland has health related professionals, that compared to the rest of the country, are fewer in number compared to the population (with the exception of nurses), disproportionately recruited from overseas and are ageing.
  • It is expected that the number of people employed in the sector will rise over the next twenty years, from approximately 14,000 in 2016 to nearly 19,000 by 2036. Growth will not be uniform across the six LGAs or across all occupations but will be significant in all cases.

Working Groups

Four themes have been identified and working groups will now review the report recommendations and align with what they know from working in the sector, to determine the priority actions moving forward. The four themed areas working groups are listed below. Click on each page to find out more about the progress of that working group.