SA Councils take up Jobs Challenge

Councils in South Australia are at the forefront of moves to create new jobs. Jobs Challenge 98 is a partnership between the State Government and the SA Local Government Association, formulated last year. It aims to create 1000 new jobs in local communities.

Under the program, the State Government provides funding for Council initiated job creation, either at Council or in Council sponsored community work.

Minister for Local Government, Mark Brindal, said it was pleasing to note the range of Councils that had taken up the initiative.

"This includes most country Councils, which have found the opportunity to maintain employment opportunities, especially for young people," he said. "This is helping to alleviate the youth population drift away from country communities."

Economic Development Officer with the City of Onkaparinga, Martin Threadgold, said Council's program was well under way, with 16 trainees already working and three Local Government traineeships. He said the program offered the opportunity for a variety of initiatives.

One group of 12 young unemployed people have established themselves as consultants in an entrepreneurial initiative. Council set them the task of examining how neighbourhood centres might work better.

"The results have been excellent with the group carrying out extensive surveying," Martin Threadgold said.

"We will certainly be taking their report seriously."

He said participants in the group have gained valuable experience for the job market and also for setting up their own business.

"The challenge now is to encourage private sector contractors to employ more unemployed people under the program," Martin Threadgold said.