It is no great secret that, like the rest of Australia, Central Queensland’s mines have been starved of skilled workers.
One answer this consortium has come up with is the CQ Jobs Project, which includes Rockhampton City Council and nearby regional economic and tourism bodies. The project received $A10,000 in funding from the Department of State Development, Trade and Innovation and sponsorship from a number of other sources.
“Central Queensland employers are struggling with what has become a worldwide issue – the skills shortage. This website is the perfect opportunity for job seekers locally to contact employers who have positions vacant, and more importantly, for employers to have the opportunity to reach job seekers throughout Australia and around the world,” Rockhampton Regional Development chief executive Dr Ricki Jeffery said.
Dr Jeffrey said the website (www.cqjobs.com.au), which includes a facility that matches the skills requirements of individual mines and businesses with individual job seekers and puts the two in contact, had already created real interest with job seekers registering from interstate and south and north Queensland.
The catalyst for the project was when Rockhampton Mayor Margaret Strelow and Mining Growth Project coordinator Prue Hinchliffe were out and about visiting various mines in the Southern Bowen Basin.
Word came through that Holden was retrenching 1400 of its employees in Adelaide, so in the next two months they worked with various employers, economic development and tourism bodies and the Department of State Development, Trade and Innovation and took a team of 14 to South Australia. They set up booths at Holden’s plant and a local shopping centre and complemented this with a CD, a specially designed flyer and a website.
“There was a great deal of interest in what our region had to offer: job opportunities, a thriving economy and a great lifestyle,” said Strelow, who was part of the Adelaide team.
“We were very aware that many of the people we spoke to were facing a tumultuous time in their working lives and we were happy to provide an attractive alternative.”
The idea has grown from there with Hinchliffe stating the site had gathered some international interest as well.
Besides matching employers with employees, the site also offers advice and links to help prospective employees relocate to the area, with information on schools, health and real estate and a link to view job advertisements in local papers. They plan to further develop the site to ensure it meets the needs of job seekers and their families.
Hinchliffe said the project was a team approach, and was unique in that so many councils and government bodies had come successfully together. As well as job placement organisations and Central Queensland employers, participants include the Rockhampton City Council; Rockhampton Regional Development Limited; Rockhampton Tourist and Business Information; Central Highlands Development Corporation; Gladstone Area Promotion and Development Limited; Department of State Development, Trade and Innovation; and Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.