The Gold Coast is quickly maturing into a place of broad opportunity and rich experiences. The city is at a turning point in its evolution, providing a rare opportunity to reimagine the future, where the unique lifestyle and coastal vibe of the city becomes the catalyst for a highly skilled Gold Coast.

While the city has a strong culture of entrepreneurship and capable universities, the scale of its innovation economy is so far much lower than its peer cities around the world.

As part of the ongoing growth story, it is imperative that the city retains its brightest minds and future leaders. Local talent retention will underpin diversification of the city’s economic base, grow the strong entrepreneurial spirit and ensure the city environment fosters its leaders of the future.

Historically, the Gold Coast’s growth story has been influenced by trying to compete with Australia’s capital cities. A major paradigm shift is required, from the community and political leaders alike. We must reshape our future vision to embrace the assets that make the Gold Coast unique. This involves promoting the Gold Coast as a regional city that builds economic strength from its ability to collaborate with capital cities.

Retaining talent and nurturing a city of future leaders therefore relies on shaping our future growth to reinforce the Gold Coast as an education, health and knowledge city.

Our strategy to retain local talent needs a broader approach that reflects the Gold Coast lifestyle and liveability values. The emphasis should not solely be focussed on attracting big business. Rather, becoming a highly skilled Gold Coast relies on protecting our lifestyle values, whilst cementing global connections through leading digital infrastructure.

This reimagining of our city’s future envisages an urban environment of dynamic workplaces, a faster rate of career growth for Gold Coast locals and most importantly, job self-containment within the city.

Author: Martin Garred, Co-Vice President, YP Gold Coast