Wide Bay Burnett selected for Regional Employment Trials Program

Thursday, 21 June 2018

The Wide Bay Burnett is one of 10 regions across the country set to benefit from a new Coalition Government employment trial.

The $18.4 million Regional Employment Trials Program will enable local organisations, who understand the issues on the ground, to design solutions to employment challenges.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt welcomed today’s announcement and said the Wide Bay Burnett region would receive $1 million through a Local Employment Initiative Fund.

“The fund will directly support local employment projects such as mentoring programs and the upskilling of people looking for work so that they are job ready.

“It will mean that people looking for work will receive every assistance possible, to participate in the local labour market,” he said.

Mr O’Brien welcomed the selection of the Wide Bay Burnett region to take part in the trial program to help local people looking for work find work.

“The Coalition Government is committed to investing in Australians by giving jobseekers the skills required to find and keep a job.

“In a region that has one of the highest rates of unemployment we need to continue to ensure that the Government has a full range of initiatives and programs that increase the job prospects of jobseekers, and grow the economy, to sustain employment and create new job opportunities,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Wide Bay Burnett RDA is highly regarded and has deep connections across the region and I’m pleased this new initiative will utilise the RDA’s expertise with a new focus on jobs.”

As part of the trial, a new Employment Facilitator will be appointed in the Wide Bay Burnett region through a competitive tender process. The tender opens today and closes on 18 July.

Employment Facilitators will work with Regional Development Australia (RDA) committees to develop local employment projects.

Examples of projects that could be funded include:

• using experienced or retired residents, and local business leaders in a mentoring program

• preparing job seekers for an up-coming infrastructure project

• work experience programs that provide local employment opportunities.

Regional Development Australia Wide Bay Burnett executive officer Scott Rowe said there was a real need in the region and he was pleased it was chosen for the trial.

“We look forward to working with industry to come up with innovative ways to change the employment landscape in the Wide Bay Burnett.

“We congratulate the Coalition Government on this initiative and hope to see some positive changes during the trial,” Mr Rowe said.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Michaelia Cash said the program will directly support local employment projects.

“We are bringing together all available expertise at the local and regional level to develop positive employment outcomes,” Minister Cash said.

“This is an initiative which utilises skills already on the ground, and by investing in local employment programs we are strengthening the local economy to the benefit of everyone in the community.”

More information about the program is available here: https://www.jobs.gov.au/regional-employment-trials-program

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