State ‘on the job’

Key industries across the Limestone Coast are being directly targeted to help fill a raft of job vacancies in the region. Agriculture, tourism and hospitality are currently experiencing acute shortages, prompting a new State Government program to support both employers and job seekers.

There were 432 vacancies advertised in the region for the month of February, with 96 in health care and social assistance, 86 in services such as trades, automotive, hair and beauty, 46 in administrative and support services, 42 in accommodation and food services, 39 in agriculture, forestry and fishing and 36 in retail trade.

Of those vacancies, 226 were full-time, 87 casual and 67 part-time and contract. Mount Gambier had the most vacancies with 242, followed by Bordertown 32, Naracoorte 29 and Millicent 22.

In response, the Regional Development Australia network across SA is working in partnership with the State Government to help deliver its $4.45m investment in matching jobs with job seekers. Through this new initiative, Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) is actively working on the ground to connect the right people with the right jobs in the region, with a focus on agriculture, tourism and hospitality.

RDALC chief executive David Wheaton said there were many seasonal, contract and permanent roles available across the region and the ‘Real Work. Real Experience – Regional Work SA’ initiative was critical to connect job opportunities and the available workforce.

“This initiative will get job seekers back into the workforce to help ease financial pressures; it will support local industry, businesses and employers to achieve goals and support our region’s economic recovery,” Mr Wheaton said. “The impacts of COVID-19 are still being felt around the region, including significant shortages in the supply of skilled labour, especially for our agriculture and hospitality sectors.

“Ensuring regional employers have access to a reliable workforce is essential to allow businesses and supply chains to continue to function during this time.” Mr Wheaton said RDALC had appointed Lance Pedlow and Steve Chapple to the team to deliver the program across the Limestone Coast and provide on the ground advisory and coordination services, linking the region’s job vacancies with job seekers.

“By having two dedicated staff working on the program in-region, we can focus on providing personalised support to our businesses,” he said. Mr Wheaton said incentives were being offered to job seekers to entice them to the regions, including up to $6000 in relocation and travel support for those eligible.

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