Career Moves: Migration Histories of Selected Regional Workforces in Bendigo, Australia
The mobility of young adults is often related to education and employment. In Australia, there is a strong regional dimension to this mobility with state capital cities like Melbourne attracting people from non-metropolitan regions. Spatial patterns of skills accumulation and deficit arise from youth migration to cities, and this continues to be a concern for regional policy makers seeking to boost non-metropolitan growth. However, despite the net flows of human capital towards capital cities, many regional centres still maintain diverse economies and many professional workers choose to locate there. To better understand the characteristics and migration histories of these professional workers, a survey of three workforce samples was undertaken in the city of Bendigo (150 km from Melbourne). These samples (total: 734) were from the Bendigo Bank (n = 440); Bendigo Health (n = 119) and Greater Bendigo City Council (n = 175). While it was expected that metropolitan areas would play a role in migration pathways and skills acquisition, variation was found between the workforces, with one proving to be very regional in its character (Bank) while the others (Council and Hospital) drew workers from both metropolitan and rural areas. Spatial patterns of human capital accumulation are explored in this paper with a view to understanding where such capital is developed and where it subsequently locates. Such analysis will assist policy makers in developing more effective attraction and retention strategies for regional Australia.
This survey forms part of a wider project funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), University of Queensland and Victorian Government namely, ARC Linkage Project LP120100212: Attraction and Retention: The Role of Mobility in Educational Pathways and Human Capital Development. Researchers on that project have provided data and feedback for this paper, notably, Martin Bell, Jonathan Corcoran and Francisco Rowe Gonzalez from the University of Queensland and Trevor Budge, La Trobe University. Support from Joshua Pell on behalf of Bendigo Bank and survey assistance from Melissa Kennedy at Latrobe University Bendigo is also acknowledged. Quantitative estimates of age specific migration were developed from ABS census data by the Forward Policy & Research Branch of DELWP in Melbourne, Victoria.
The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and should not be regarded as representing the views of Bendigo City Council, Bendigo Bank, Bendigo Health or the Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.
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