Skip navigation
Government of South Australia - Department of State Development

    Workforce development and migration

    Supplying industries with a skilled workforce

    Growing and retaining South Australia’s population and building a skilled workforce will be critical to our goal to become a smarter, more sustainable and more inclusive state.

    South Australia is faced with the dual challenge of meeting existing skills shortages across a range of industries and sectors, while adapting to meet the skills needs of emerging industries and technologies that are transforming the state’s economy.

    The Department of State Development (DSD) supports industry to attract and retain the workforce it needs through workforce planning, workforce development, skilled migration, and building industry’s capability to develop their workforce. We also develop workforce strategies, roadmaps and projects to identify and address current and future workforce challenges.

    South Australia's opportunity

    The trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States (AUKUS) will present significant opportunities for South Australia as we prepare to construct nuclear-powered submarines at Adelaide’s Osborne naval shipyard.

    This major project has the potential to transform and expand South Australia’s economy, demanding a level of skills and technological development far exceeding any major project in the state’s history. The benefits will flow on to supply chains, reaching throughout all sectors of our economy.

    Other key sectors that will be part of South Australia’s economic transformation include renewable energy and hydrogen, defence and space, advanced manufacturing, and enabling capabilities such as artificial intelligence, automation, photonics, quantum and digital technologies, and cyber security.

    Combined with the urgent need to decarbonise across all industry sectors, South Australia needs a highly skilled workforce with a higher level of educational qualifications.

    Building a skilled defence workforce

    The AUKUS deal will require a massive increase in the skills and volume of South Australia’s defence workforce.

    The South Australian Government is partnering with the defence industry and the Australian Government to ensure local defence projects will have a highly skilled workforce to draw upon and the state fulfils its mission to become a stable and secure partner of choice.

    Workforce development initiatives

    Regional Workforce Connector Program

    A 12-month program delivered by Regional Development Australia organisations to build employer capacity and capability, improve recruitment, attraction and retention strategies, help fill regional job vacancies, connect businesses to government programs and initiatives, provide workforce insights to government, and help regions with local workforce development.

    Workforce Innovation Projects

    A pilot program delivering skills and workforce development for businesses and their staff to increase skill levels and improve workforce supply. Seven projects were approved to support businesses across a variety of sectors, including creative industries; food, wine and agribusiness; health and medical; and hi-tech and digital.

    FORTE Tech Careers Training Program

    A partnership between DSD and Forte, this innovative scholarship model provides free digital technologies training for unemployed and underemployed people, and those who face barriers to training and employment, preparing them to step into a technology role.

    Accelerating Regional Employment Program

    A regional workforce program to help businesses to become employers of choice, including capacity-building workshops and seminars, one-on-one case management support, a toolkit and resources. Delivered by Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast to address difficulties in attracting and retaining employees.

    Bringing new businesses and skills to South Australia

    DSD works with the Australian Government’s Department of Home Affairs to attract eligible skilled and business migrants through state-nominated visa programs.

    We support local South Australian businesses address skills gaps in their workforce through sponsorship of skilled migrants to fill vacancies where there is a shortage of local workers.

    Activities within our Skilled & Business Migration team include:

    • Nomination of skilled migrants to meet critical skills shortages in the local labour market.
    • Nomination of migrants with a proven record of business expertise and entrepreneurship who can inject significant new money into the South Australian economy and create new jobs.

    Providing advice to the Department of Home Affairs on South Australian employers seeking skilled workers from overseas when positions cannot be filled from the local labour pool.

    Get help navigating opportunities in workforce development

    There are experienced DSD team members available to support your growth ambitions – whether that be help with workforce development, navigating government and other support programs, connecting with peers and industry leaders, or the adoption of new technologies.

    Subscribe to news about workforce development and migration

    Your name

    All information is collected and used in accordance with the DSD Privacy Statement.