Senior Economist - Short Term Adviser, Pacific Labour Facility
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Project Overview and Role
The PLF facilitates seasonal and longer-term work opportunities for Pacific workers to Australia. It connects Australian employers with Pacific workers, supports the administration of the PLS and provides targeted support to SWP. The PLF is managed by Palladium and provides the backbone of Australia's future support for circular labour mobility in the Pacific under the direction of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). The PLF has been established as a trusted intermediary in connecting Australian employers with Pacific workers.
As of December 2019, PLF had successfully engaged with a range of industries and employers, including hospitality and tourism, aged care, agriculture, fisheries and meat processing industries. Some of these industries were identified in the PLF design document as having a shortage of Australian workers; projected employment growth; and in need of workers with Pacific skills sets. The 'demand' for Pacific labour has grown organically since the inception of the PLS visa in July 2018.
As PLF progresses deeper into its second year of implementation, there is an increasing need to have credible and up-to-date labour market and regional data informing PLF's engagement with industry and identifying Australian labour shortages. Such data will allow PLF to identify which industries and regions to engage over the short, medium and long-term as well as identify potential new industries that could participate in PLS. Labour market data will also be useful for other stakeholders, including DFAT in its engagement with Whole of Government (including Department of Employment and Treasury's new Centre for Population which will become the key Whole of Government actor on migration), cabinet as well as industry groups, and the Australia-Pacific Technical College (APTC) in identifying potential courses.
The Senior Economist
will provide intermittent inputs (up to 45 days over 12 months) of economic advice and guidance to PLF on the procurement, interpretation and use of labour market analyses. The consultant will ensure that PLF's approach to these labour market analyses results in:
- A scope of work (for the firm) that addresses both PLF and DFAT information needs;
- The procurement and selection of a credible firm/supplier to undertake the analyses;
- Appropriate methodologies used by the firm that results in high-quality and robust results;
- Accurate interpretations and appropriate use of the analyses; and
- Informed engagement with external stakeholders, possibly through a reference group.
Under the direction of the Quality, Learning & Performance Lead
the Senior Economist
- Undertake background reading and initial meetings with key PLF staff to understand the objectives of the program and how it operates. (Two days).
- Attend an initial meeting between DFAT and PLF (and possibly other relevant stakeholders) to identify/clarify:
- Key domestic labour market information needs, including thematic areas and priorities;
- How often the analyses should be undertaken;
- How the labour market analyses will be disseminated and used; and
- Key stakeholders for a broader consultative/reference group, including the role of this reference group. (One day for the meeting + preparation).
- Develop a short framework (no more than five pages) that outlines how the labour market assessments will be undertaken and used. The framework should identify how stakeholders will be engaged and how results will be used. (Up to five days).
- Develop the relevant technical sections of the procurement documentation (based on the initial consultations held with DFAT and other relevant stakeholders). (Two days).
- Participate in the evaluation and selection of a firm to undertake the labour market analyses. (Up to four days).
- Participate in initial meetings and briefings with the selected firm. Review preparatory documents (including methodology) produced by the firm in the lead up to undertaking the analyses. (Two days).
- Review all outputs produced by the firm (documenting this in a short report to PLF), ensuring the analyses are credible. (Two days per analysis).
- Support the interpretation, dissemination and use of analyses. (Two days per analysis).
- Support PLF on other matters that require economic advice/guidance (requested through emails/tasking notes to the consultant).
It is essential that the Senior Economist has:
- A post-graduate tertiary qualification in economics (or other relevant subject/s);
- At least 15 years practicing economics in the international development context and/or on labour market systems;
- Excellent multi-stakeholder engagement skills, including the ability to communicate and work with different stakeholders;
- High level skills in identifying and synthesising key strategic and operational issues through a participatory process; and
- Excellent report writing skills, including the ability to convert complex data/information into understandable outputs for non-technical audiences.
Due to the urgent nature of this appointment we will be reviewing all applications as they are received, and interviews will be arranged for suitable candidates on an ongoing basis. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply immediately and not wait for the closing date.