Calls for community to support jobseekers

Greater Bendigo City Council Mayor Peter Cox is calling on the community to support jobseekers into employment.

“Unemployment is an issue that touches everyone in our community, either directly or indirectly, and therefore a whole-of-community response is needed to help address it.”

The Mayor took part in the launch of the 2015 Bendigo Job Expo at the Bendigo Library.

The Job Expo is planned to be held at the Bendigo Town Hall in March and is being organised by Future Employment Opportunities (FEO).

“One of the key aims of today’s launch is to invite all sections of the community to participate in a project that will highlight skills shortages, showcase careers and give jobseekers new job opportunities.

“Employers and their associations, employment and welfare agencies, governments at all levels, training and education institutions, the media and jobseekers themselves can all play a part in raising issues that will get more people into jobs.”

While the region has experienced steady growth over many years, unemployment is starting to rise around Australia and sections of Greater Bendigo are experiencing higher unemployment levels.

“The strength of the Greater Bendigo economy is its diversity with jobs in health, retail, manufacturing, education, banking, agriculture, hospitality and tourism, but too many young people are not gaining their first job with a 13 percent youth unemployment rate.

“Jobseekers with low education and many who are mature aged are feeling they are not wanted in the workforce.

“Many of them feel that education and training is out of their reach due to their financial position.

“Twenty five per cent of Bendigo’s population is now on government income support and 17 per cent of families with children under 15 years are jobless.

“These are figures which our community can no longer ignore.

The City of Greater Bendigo is providing support to event organisers FEO with other supporters including Centrelink, Bendigo Community Bank and Lead on Australia, CVGT, DRAKE International, Western District Employment Access and SUREWAY and it is hoped that many other organisations will also come on board.

The event will also feature a week-long ‘Job-A-Thon’ where businesses and other organisations can offer employment opportunities.