CWFS Tapping a natural resource – a rural and regional ‘remote’ workforce


Oct 2019- Oct 2021


 FRRR, Paul Ramsay Foundation

A comprehensive training program that increases skills of participants to work remotely. This project will support the activation of underemployed people & increase human capital in Central West NSW.  Individuals (particularly women) will build confidence & acquire skills to re-enter the workforce remotely with CWFS’ facilitation & contractor expertise.

The aim of the project is to support individuals (particularly women) to build confidence and acquire the skills to re-enter the workforce remotely.  This project will provide a highly developed educational and networking program to upskill, activate and engage underemployed people to remotely work in Central West NSW (CW NSW) increasing professional & economic opportunities & encourage community engagement.  

In addition to ongoing drought conditions, the disruption of the current COVID-19 pandemic has emphasised the need for a sound understanding and key skills to work remotely. This project provides much needed skills and knowledge for individuals to be more agile and competently adapt to changing circumstances.

This project will:

– Facilitate peer to peer learning (between the cohort) to create an online community of local individuals. This will enable participants to offer practical support, gain insights and solve problems from each other.

– Build confidence and capacity in individuals living in CW NSW to look to remote work as a means of re-engaging with the workforce.

With the support of FRRR, this project can assist in reducing the impact of skill shortages in the regions, maintaining rural populations and improving the outcomes for people in CW NSW.

FRRR will fund CWFS to promote and co-ordinate project activities and measure outcomes. CWFS has a strong network in the region and a history of delivering successful projects driven from the grass roots.  Project trainer, Jo Palmer is an experienced professional in the ‘remote work’ space. She founded Pointer Remote Roles (Pointer), a job matching platform that connects businesses with talent that works remotely from anywhere in Australia, in 2017. Jo was motivated to start the company after observing her network of incredibly talented friends who had married farmers and had left the workforce. This group of professionals with a skill set that was underutilised or idle was not isolated to Jo’s friendship circle, but was a phenomenon across rural, regional and remote (RRR) Australia. In September 2019, Jo was awarded the National AgriFutures Rural Women’s Award for her work supporting, educating and connecting rural communities through remote work.

Project roll out

The following elements will be delivered to participants:

• Remote Work for Professionals Workshop

• Each participant will complete an e-Learning over a maximum of the three-month period

• Participants participate in two webinars

• Resumes will be assessed and feedback will be provided by an HR specialist

• Remote Work Readiness Workshop

• Private networking and support group (Slack)

Remote Work for Professionals Workshop

The Workshop will build confidence and capacity in participants and help to remove barriers to entry to the remote workforce by exposing them to remote work technologies and strategies. The Workshop will include practical resources and demonstrations of technologies currently available to professionals that enable remote work. This Workshop includes:

• An overview of the online e-Learning

• Practical training in remote work technology

Remote Ready e-Learning

Participants will complete an online e-Learning course that provides participants with the specific skills, knowledge and training in working remotely. This training empowers individuals and gives them access to a toolbox of skills to make remote work successful.


Participants will engage with two webinars; one focusing on change management and the other on resume development. The sessions will be interactive and recorded to review at a later date.

Resume build and review

Participants will receive a template to create their own resume and their resumes will be reviewed and given feedback by an HR professional.

Remote Work Readiness Workshop

This Workshop includes:

• Final resume review

• Survey of post program skills and confidence levels

• Interview technique training

• Pointer profile creation

Private networking and support group

Participants will engage with facilitators and each other to build networks and provide support throughout the Project and beyond. This will be hosted in Slack.