Council push for local workforce skills focus

Burnie City Council has welcomed the attention from both the State Government and Labor Opposition on regional skills, but argues more needs to be done to ensure all coastal residents can share in the future prosperity of the region.

Burnie City Council Mayor Boyd said that there was no one simple solution to address the issue of unemployment.

“Council has recently been advised that there will be a need to fill almost 12,800 jobs on the Coast in the next five years. Many industry sectors are growing strongly, and are predicting strong growth into the future.”

“While there are some areas in our region with above average unemployment rates, this is not due to a lack of employment opportunities. In fact, many businesses are reporting difficulty in filling positions”.

Mayor Boyd said that Council was a big supporter of TasTAFE and the University College and hoped that both organisations would continue to deliver training to the region that would meet industry demand.

“Council welcomed Prime Minister Turnbull’s announcement of the North-West Job Ready Generation package during the Braddon By-election, which would be a $3.9 million collaboration between business and TAFE to up-skill 600 north-west Tasmanians with the qualifications and the on-the-job training required in agriculture, mining, manufacturing, building and construction.

The fund is to include $1 million to deliver school-based pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship training and it has the funding to support 160 pre-apprenticeships and apprenticeships over three years.”

“Council looks forward to the delivery of the North-West Job Ready Generation package, and will be seeking an update from the Government as to when this funding will be rolled out”.

Mayor Boyd said that Council also recognised the significant issues older job seekers faced in re-entering the job market.

“Earlier this year Council facilitated an Ideas Exchange with the Department of Social Services to identify the obstacles and possible solutions for older job seekers. Council understands that the government will soon be releasing a funding program to meet the specific needs of this group and will be working hard to ensure that Burnie is able to access some of this funding”.

Mayor Boyd said that a major issue that is often overlooked are the obstacles that job seekers encounter other than work related skills.

“While it is important that the government is providing extra resources for skills, there also needs to be adequate support for job seekers facing issues such as family crisis, mental health, transport, secure accommodation and drug and alcohol issues.”

“Council calls on all levels of government to adequately resource coordinated services to meet the needs of job seekers, so that they can participate fully in the job market.”

For further information please contact

Fiona Loughran
Communications Officer
Burnie City Council
03 6430 5716 or 0448 568 728