Climate Summit for Local Government

Sept 6-8, 2023 | Melbourne



Upskilling Australians for local trades – CPP October Webinar

4 Oct 2022
2:00pm - 3:00pm

Join us on Tuesday 4th October at 2pm AEDT for a blockbuster webinar focused on upskilling the local labour force to facilitate the renewable energy transformation.

Wellington Shire Council is leading and driving initiatives to support the uptake of large-scale renewable energy projects across the Gippsland region in Victoria, however it’s essential that the local labour force is also becoming upskilled to facilitate this new energy transition. The Australian Renewables Academy is working alongside Wellington Shire Council and will outline the many challenges and opportunities associated with upskilling a local labour force.

Kate Foster, the Manager of Economic Development at Wellington, is welcoming the sector as an emerging and major growth industry and has instigated numerous activities to facilitate and support new energy projects. Kate will take us through some of these initiatives including:

  • Establishment of the Wellington Renewable Energy Forum (online bi-monthly meetings) to update, engage & drive outcomes for proponents, Government agencies and other key stakeholders
  • Delivering the Gippsland New Energy Conference (11/12th August 2022) to showcase regional projects and drive further public & private investment.
  • Successfully securing funding to undertake the RE Readiness & Impact study to ensure our Shire is ‘ready’ to leverage the benefits of this emerging sector
  • Bring the key lead on regional, state & federal advocacy for offshore wind legislation, Gippsland REZ prioritisation and other activities
  • The scoping of potential ’one stop shop website’ of all projects to increase information sharing and create better social licence outcome
  • Attracting & facilitating numerous new energy projects ($40 billion in investment for Gippsland with majority in Wellington Shire).


Bernadette O’Connor, Chair of the Australian Renewables Academy will take us through:

  • The size of the challenge: renewable energy workforce numbers, skills and timing including supply chain businesses
  • Industry driven responses to growing a local renewable energy workforce
  • Targeted skills development for a locally available workforce, why we need to understand the workforce participation rate when planning for a future renewables workforce
  • Collaborative relationships for regional workforce recruitment, development and management – Activating Gippsland’s Renewable Energy Workforce Action Plan
  • As well as possible roles for local government in relation to renewable energy workforce development



Bernadette O’Connor
Bernadette O’Connor

Bernadette O’Connor

Chair of the Australian Renewables Academy

Bernadette is the Chair of the Australian Renewables Academy, Executive Director of Management Governance Australia, CEO of Workforce Plus and Director of DEC Housing. Bernadette has over almost 40 years’ experience developing skills and workforce solutions for industry in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. She is a strong advocate for securing sustainable prosperity in local communities through employment.

Kate Foster
Kate Foster

Kate Foster

Manager Economic Development, Wellington Shire Council in Victoria 

Kate has extensive stakeholder management and engagement experience with roles that have seen her live in Dubai, London, Melbourne and now her hometown of Sale. She’s passionate about her work, driven to make a difference and motivated to facilitate and support the emerging renewable energy sector in Gippsland.