FEDERAL Member for Cowper Pat Conaghan says a newly-appointed Employment Facilitator for the electorate will help job seekers find work as part of the Australian Government’s $62.8 million Local Jobs Program.
The Employment Facilitator will work on-the-ground in Cowper to support employers and job seekers to connect with employment and training opportunities.
Mr Conaghan said the Employment Facilitator will also chair a Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce addressing the needs of the Cowper electorate.
“I’m confident they will come up with local solutions that will benefit the entire community,” he said.
“They’ll drive innovative ideas to address the unique challenges in Cowper by bringing together local businesses, training providers and job seekers.
“The Taskforce will identify projects that can be funded by the Australian Government through the Local Recovery Fund, ranging from $10,000 to $200,000.”
Coffs Harbour Chamber of Commerce president Ray Smith says the Chamber is supportive of the Federal Government’s initiative.
“We look forward to working with the new Employment Facilitator,” he said.
“The government should be congratulated on being proactive in the creation of this role and working to connect job seekers with employment opportunities on the Coffs Coast.
“I look forward to seeing more local jobs for local people and helping grow the local economy.”
Libby Park, President of The Bellingen Chamber of Commerce said this is a very positive appointment.
“We have established a project, Bellingen Employment Pathways, which is designed to connect employers with trainees and apprentices,” she said.
“One of our board members is running this project and has been working with Registered Training Organisations, job providers, school careers advisers and employers to get this initiative off the ground, and I believe that the new Employment Facilitator will be a valuable connection for us.
“We are aware that some businesses in Bellingen, particularly in hospitality, have found it challenging to attract staff and so this appointment definitely fills a need,” she said.
Mr Conaghan said the Employment Facilitator will provide a local presence in Cowper to support employers and job seekers to connect to local employment and training opportunities.
The Employment Facilitator will work with local stakeholders including employers, employment services providers and training organisations to drive the development of a Local Jobs Plan.
The Facilitators will also support local stakeholders to create targeted projects that meet the priorities of the plan.
Facilitators will work with organisations that apply for funding through the Local Recovery Funds to ensure employment opportunities are maximised.
The Mid-North Coast Employment Facilitator, Janine Culnane from Regional Development Australia – Mid North Coast, will start on 18 January 2021.
The interim Employment Facilitator for the region is still available, with further information at https://www.dese.gov.au/local-jobs-program.
By Sandra MOON