A permanent Local Employment Co-ordinator has been appointed for the Mid North Coast to help create and support local jobs.
Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Jason Clare made the announcement while hosting a Keep Australia Working forum in Port Macquarie today.
Mr Clare was joined by the former head of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Bill Kelty to discuss ways to increase local job opportunities with local business and community leaders in Port Macquarie.
The event was one of 20 Keep Australia Working forums being held around the country to start work on local jobs plans for the regions hardest hit by the global economic recession.
“The Rudd Government is doing everything it can to keep Australia working,” Mr Clare said. “The global recession has hit communities like this one harder than others. In places like this we need to go the extra mile to support local jobs.
“Renee Hawkins has been appointed as the LEC for the area and her job will be to look for new job opportunities and work with business and the community to develop a local jobs plan for the future.”
Ms Hawkins has experience in developing training and work experience projects across the Mid-North Coast. She has also worked with the region’s councils and largest employers on job-generating initiatives. Mr Clare said the Mid North Coast region had suffered as a result of the global downturn and this was part of the Government’s plan to support jobs in the region.
“Unemployment in this area now stands at 6.3 per cent which is above the seasonally adjusted national average of 5.8 percent,” Mr Clare said.
“That’s why we organised this forum, to discuss how to maximise the employment impact of the stimulus package to support jobs and industry here on the Mid North Coast. “The region continues to experience high disadvantage with around one in five people on some type of income support.
“This is the reason the Government is continuing to stimulate the economy with more than $187 million in funding for projects allocated to this region alone under our Nation Building Plan.”