Local area jobs boost

* * DV acting Mayor Jessica Cosgrove, Bridgewater Bridge project manager Ben Maloney, Brighton Mayor Leigh Gray, Central Highlands Mayor Lou Triffett and Minister Roger Jaensch * *

LOCALS looking for work or job training now have an employment hub to help them find a job.

The Southcentral Regional Jobs Hub, based at Pontville, is the result of collaboration between the State Government, Derwent Valley, Central Highlands, Southern Midlands and Brighton councils.

With a budget of $1.6 million, its goal is to help more than 2000 locals find work in the region over the next three years.

A similar jobs hub established a few years ago at Sorell has had great success in matching employers and employees, as well as training those needing to up-skill.

It is the fourth hub established in Tasmania.

The hub will work closely with employers, industry groups, registered training organisations, local job seekers, and educators to support, train and encourage local employment from within the region.

State Growth Minister Roger Jaensch said job hubs were making more dedicated employment support services available across the state particularly in areas that were experiencing higher unemployment and low levels of workforce participation.

“This region is going through an economic boom with many sectors and employers not able to find locals to work,’’ Mr Jaensch said.

He said there were significant infrastructure projects in the area, such as the construction of the new Bridgewater Bridge.

Bridgewater Bridge project manager Ben Maloney said he wanted to employ locally.

“Having locals has lots of advantages and is a very attractive option for us,’’ Mr Maloney said.

The Jobs Hub will have an advisory board that includes representatives from councils, local business leaders and community groups.

Chair of the sub regional group of councils and Brighton Mayor Leigh Gray said the Jobs Hub would build on the evident success of the group’s current workforce development project.

“The State Government’s funding for this important initiative is recognition of the commitment and success to date of our four councils working together to identify and develop employment opportunities in the region,’’ Mr Gray said.

Chair of the Jobs Hub Advisory Board chairman and Southern Midlands Council Mayor Alex Green said the establishment of the South central Jobs Hub demonstrated how the four councils were working proactively to lift employment opportunities for their municipalities.

Mr Jaensch said the outlook for local employment opportunities in the south-central region was positive with employment growth across a range of different sectors.

“Sectors experiencing particularly strong employment growth are transport and logistics with major infrastructure projects such as the Bridgewater Bridge and Midlands Highway upgrade; agriculture, tourism and hospitality, and the distilling and brewing industry,’’ Mr Jaensch said.