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City of Ballarat Community Magazine April 2011
-- a $370 million opportunity
Council's Economic Strategy 2010-2014 identifies the Business Services
sector as one of Ballarat's seven key growth sectors. Currently the second
largest sector by output, the Business Services sector will contribute
significantly to Ballarat's vision of becoming the capital of western Victoria
and as a nationally significant knowledge-based economy.
Business Services have been defined as those businesses that operate
within the following three Australia New Zealand Standard Industr y Codes
Property and Business Services;
Finance and Insurance; and
Advanced Business Services are export-oriented and are critical inputs into
local production processes, particularly in the commercialisation of new
knowledge and ideas, and growing and diversifying the economy.
Council undertook a Capability and Gap Review study into the Business
Services Sector, including consultations with over 30 local service businesses,
to better understand how this important sector can be expanded. The core
objectives of the Review were to:
assist growth in the Business Services sector and reduce reliance
increase Ballarat's attractiveness to new firms and investment;
develop Ballarat's regional role in Business Services; and
maximise the role of Business Services (particularly advanced Business
• Services) in supporting innovation across all industry sectors.
The review found that within the last two years the sector has increased
its share of the city's overall economic output from 13 per cent to 17 per
cent. This growth has been greater than that of the Ballarat economy as
a whole, with particularly strong growth in the sub sectors of Scientific
Research and Technical Services.
Currently 4652 persons are employed in the sector, an increase of over 18
per cent in the past three years and it appears generally well positioned to
continue to grow its workforce due to its relatively younger age profile. It is
anticipated that a further 1300 people will be employed by 2016.
The report also highlights that Ballarat imported $370 million of Business
Services into the local economy last financial year. This is a significant
opportunity for local business services firms and one Council is committed
Key service gaps have been identified in higher end accounting, human
resource management and skills supporting the construction and
development industries (such as quantity sur veyors, consulting engineers
The report identifies five key areas that Council's Economic Development
unit can focus on to support the sector's development, these areas are:
Committing to help grow the sector.
Establishing an appropriate governance model for the sector's
Ensuring appropriate office accommodation.
Building educational links.
Continuing to work to attract a large business service firms to the region.
A strong and diverse Business Services sector has wide-ranging economic and
social benefits through employment, education and training, local purchasing,
regional service provision and research and development partnerships.
Council will continue to focus on this key sector to secure the long-term
economic growth of Ballarat.
For further information on the Capability and Gap Review or the Economic
Strategy contact Council's Economic Development unit on 5320 5759.
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