A Bundaberg Regional Jobs Committee will be established to create jobs and grow local businesses and industries in the region.
Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer said the State Government was helping to create jobs, improve training opportunities and drive economic activity right across Queensland through its COVID-19 Economic Recovery Plan.
“As part of that plan we are setting up a Regional Jobs Committee here in Bundaberg,” Minister Farmer said.
“The Bundaberg Regional Jobs Committee will bring together local industry groups, training providers, local and major employers, and employee representatives to help plan local training investment so that it matches local skill needs to drive regional job creation.”
Member for Bundaberg Tom Smith said the new committee was great news for the region.
“It is fantastic news that the next Regional Jobs Committee is going to be based right here in Bundaberg,” he said.
“Bundaberg has been chosen as a central location for a Regional Jobs Committee to address the unemployment and youth unemployment across the Wide Bay.”
Mr Smith said the committee would bring together a host of stakeholders on the ground such as businesses, training organisations and employers to make sure that the best opportunities for businesses to grow and play a role in reducing unemployment in the region were being created.
“The RJC will be able to link employers and jobseekers through existing programs such as our successful Back to Work initiative which has up to $140 million over four years allocated in the latest budget,” he said.
Bundy Windscreens owner Kerry Greig welcomed the announcement of a Bundaberg RJC.
“Having a Regional Jobs Committee here in Bundaberg will help businesses like mine link up with training organisations, schools, government and other local businesses to make sure we can all work together to find solutions that work specifically for our area,” Kerry said.
“For example, when I started fitting windscreens about 30 years ago, training consisted of a week with another fitter, then you were on your own.
“Innovations such as improved methods of fitting, the design of modern vehicles and windscreen accessories such as rain sensors and cameras, amongst many other things, have made it vital that we have a up to date training program for the industry and that people looking for jobs or training in Bundaberg know that it’s in demand.”
Kerry has previously used Back to Work to hire two employees including apprentice Ngoc Pham, otherwise known as Andy.
“Back to Work is a really great program and if my business keeps growing I am considering putting on another apprentice and training them up to specialise in window tinting as part of my business expansion plans,” Kerry said.
“The Back to Work employment incentive was instrumental in my decision to employ Andy and receiving the payments helped the business through these interesting pandemic times.”
Minister Farmer said the Bundaberg Regional Jobs Committee is part of the $200 million Future Skills Fund to harness local resources for skills development and to build workforce resilience.
“The new committee will bring the number of RJCs state-wide to seven, with the six existing committees established in 2019 in Townsville, Mackay, Fraser Coast, Springfield, Redlands and Toowoomba,” Minister Farmer said.
“The existing committees are delivering some great results in their local areas by identifying gaps in local service delivery and fostering collaboration and local partnerships between industry representatives, employers, small business and government.”
The formation of Regional Jobs Committees was one of the key actions of the Skills for Queensland – Great Training for Quality Jobs Strategy and is a key action in the Big Plans for Small Business Strategy.
For further information visit www.desbt.qld.gov.au/training/docs-data/strategies/vet-strategy/regional-jobs-committees or call 1300 369 935.