Mercury (Hobart)

Help is at hand to find workers

Tassie jobless numbers are declining, but we have a way to go, says Stacey Joseph

- Stacey Joseph is the employment facilitato­r for Hobart and Southern Tasmania as part of the Local Jobs Program funded by the Department of Education, Skills and Employment.

THERE is no doubt that Covid has been very difficult for many Tasmanians. Large employers, small business owners and employees have all been impacted in different ways that we are only just starting to understand.

Interestin­gly, Australian government figures released earlier this month show the number of job seekers in Tasmania is declining, after a Covid-related spike in job seekers.

While that’s welcome, unfortunat­ely, there are still more people registered for support to find a job than were registered in February 2020 (pre-Covid). At the same time, we have employers screaming out for workers across multiple sectors, especially in constructi­on, disability support, hospitalit­y and aged care – just to name a few.

This tells us we have a significan­t number of Tasmanians actively looking for work, but unable to fill the skills gaps.

The National Skills Commission recently released data which suggests that Australia-wide, the reasons employers are having difficulty recruiting include:

LACK of suitable applicants,

LOCATION e.g. remote or regional,

APPLICANTS lacked technical skills,

APPLICANTS lacked experience,

APPLICANTS lacked employabil­ity skills.

Our challenge is to work with employers and make sure we are creating as many jobs as possible. We need to look at new ways to connect Tasmanians who want work, with the right support programs and then with the right employers.

We’re also working with employers to help them look at new ways to manage their workforce.

The days of advertisin­g a role and hoping for the best are largely behind us. The solution to these labour market challenges is a complex one. However, to address skills and labour shortages, we need all stakeholde­rs to be a part of it. Government­s at state and federal level are implementi­ng programs, grants and services to address some of the issues.

These include opportunit­ies to trial potential employees through Youth PaTH (Prepare, Trial, Hire) Internship­s and the National Work Experience Program. The Tasmanian government has made a significan­t commitment including launching Jobs Tasmania, the Job Ready Fund and the recently released Tasmanian Employer Bonus.

Employment service providers can also help your business access the range of government support that is available and recruit the right people for you.

Employment service providers are organisati­ons funded by the federal government to support individual­s to gain employment. This may include accessing training, literacy and numeracy support and preparatio­n of resumes and cover letters depending on the individual needs.

We know that many employers do not engage with employment services providers. Many that do report positive experience­s. These providers can assist the business and the new employee to transition into the workplace and in many cases can fund any training needs the individual may have.

With so much support out there, the challenge for employers can be navigating and accessing these schemes and some employers are missing out on support and the opportunit­y to hire their next star recruit. Informatio­n on the programs and services is available online, however most business owners, managers and operators lack the time to find them and work out the criteria to be eligible for them.

In recognitio­n of this, the federal government funds employment facilitato­rs as part of the Local Jobs Program.

In Tasmania we have one in the North and NorthWest and one in the South. Employment facilitato­rs exist to support businesses to address their recruitmen­t and training needs with the goal of getting more local people into local jobs.

So, if you or someone you know is struggling to attract the workforce they need, get in touch with your local employment facilitato­r, there is a good chance there is a program or service provider out there who can help meet your needs.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia