Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten and Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis today announced a $3.9 million investment for Tasmanian forestry workers facing redundancy to help them access employment and training.
“It’s important to support workers during this time of industry transition and I am pleased to announce that, ForestWorks has been contracted to deliver the $3.9 million Forestry Workers Assistance Program,” Mr Shorten said.
“This $3.9 million is part of the Gillard Government’s commitment to the Tasmanian Forests Intergovernmental Agreement, which includes up to
$25 million for employment and training.”
“We are ensuring workers receive personalised support to navigate pathways to new training and employment opportunities, including career counselling and mentor support,” Ms Ellis said.
ForestWorks, as well as delivering these sorts of workers assistance programs, also has the role as the Industry Skills Council for the forest, wood, paper and timber products industry.
ForestWorks coordinators will connect affected workers and contractors with Job Services Australia providers, registered training organisations and other services, including skills assessments.
“As former forestry workers themselves, these coordinators bring a wealth of experience to help retrenched workers, Mr Shorten said.
“Through their relationships with local employers, ForestWorks coordinators will ensure workers have access to training and employment opportunities that meets the needs of the local region in areas of industry demand.”
The Government is also providing redundant forestry and timber workers across Tasmania with immediate access to intensive services through Job Services Australia.
“Since this Government established Job Services Australia (JSA) in July 2009, Australians looking for work have been more successful in finding work. Almost one-third of our most disadvantaged job seekers are in work three months following participation in JSA, compared to 15 per cent in 2009 under the previous employment services arrangements.”
The Forestry Workers Assistance program is part of the Government’s Tasmanian Forestry Industry Structural Adjustment Program.