A new scheme to encourage graduates to work in rural areas sounds worthy, but there's a good chance that it might backfire.
The Brolga Project (nice Aussie name but a terrible acronym: Building Regional Opportunities, Leveraging from Graduates in Australia) sets up work experience placements for university students in rural locations. The idea is that some of those students will find the unexpected joys of life at a quieter pace (and with cheaper real estate) so attractive that they'll return to those areas
There's no doubt that getting skilled workers into more remote areas can be a real struggle, and on that level it's got to be worth a try. However, there's part of me that suspects this isn't going to make much difference really. People who like the idea of living the big smoke will probably pursue it anyway, while some students who do try it out will probably find the altered pace of life so dull they'll be itching to get back to an urban environment.
But I'll throw this one open to the readers. Is offering students work experience placements in regional areas a good way to attract skills to those areas? (To make my own position clear: I spent the first 21 years of my life in a regional community and that was enough.)