Tour links skilled workers to jobs

Aregional bus trip late last year has evolved into career changing opportunities for university graduates.

In September 2021, Regional Development Australia Limestone Coast (RDALC) partnered with StudyAdelaide to deliver an immersive regional tour, connecting 47 student and recent graduates with Limestone Coast employers experiencing workforce gaps.

Visiting Kingston, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Naracoorte and Keith, the three-day regional showcase received overwhelming interest from both students and local businesses, with skilled graduates meeting local employers, and learning a little of what the Limestone Coast has to offer.

StudyAdelaide chief executive Karyn Kent said more than 830 students registered an interest in the Limestone Coast visit.

“We have a wait list already for our future tours,” she said.

RDALC chair Evan Flint said the tour provided a fantastic opportunity to connect all parties.

“Through the tour the students had the chance to chat one-on-one with potential employers, visiting locations that we hoped they would one day call their workplace,” he said.

Having recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science, Dan Herath was one of the touring students and is now working for Union Dairy Company (UDC) in their purpose-built, state-of-the-art milk processing plant at Penola.

“RDALC referred me to food related companies around the area and followed up throughout the process of securing my graduate job at UDC,” he said.

Employing approximately 45 skilled workers, including process workers, production staff, laboratory technicians and management, UDC has found it increasingly difficult to attract skilled employees to the area.

“We are fortunate to have a positive relationship with RDALC and it was through this relationship we were introduced to Dan who was seeking practical experience to support his future ambitions,” UDC chief operating officer Andrew Wellington said.

“In a great outcome for us, Dan is now working for our company full time.”

RDALC and StudyAdelaide are partnering again on visits scheduled for late June and early July, bringing students from engineering and health care disciplines to the Limestone Coast.

RDALC encourages businesses interested in participating in the program to contact project support coordinator Hayley Rowe via email to discuss how the program can support them.

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