Fo­cus on Val­ley jobs

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - NEWS - JAMES KITTO

A DER­WENT Val­ley em­ploy­ment re­port by the Tas­ma­nian Coun­cil of So­cial Ser­vice shows res­i­dents are con­cerned with a lack of suit­able job op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion.

Com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion was un­der­taken be­tween De­cem­ber and March to es­tab­lish what res­i­dents con­sid­ered bar­ri­ers to em­ploy­ment, and what ideas and op­por­tu­ni­ties there were for the re­gion’s fu­ture.

Data col­lected from 128 par­tic­i­pants showed 50 per cent of those sur­veyed found the lack of lo­cally based train­ing was a bar­rier.

A stand-out theme from the re­port was the need to sup­port the next gen­er­a­tion to suc­ceed and pros­per in the Val­ley.

A lack of suit­able jobs was raised 36 times, with par­tic­i­pants sug­gest­ing there were not enough en­try level po­si­tions, as well as lim­ited pro­fes­sional op­por­tu­ni­ties and not enough jobs in gen­eral.

Fed­eral Lyons MP Brian Mitchell said there was a clear lack of train­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties in the Der­went Val­ley.

“The feed­back we’re get­ting is res­i­dents are fac­ing bar­ri­ers to train­ing,” he said.

“While there are cer­tain op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able, kids don’t al­ways know how to get into them.

“We need to be lift­ing train­ing and ap­pren­tice­ships and lift­ing kids out of dis­ad­van­taged sit­u­a­tions.”

Mr Mitchell said the State Gov­ern­ment had fallen through on prom­ises for the Val­ley.

“The Hodg­man Gov­ern­ment has made heaps of prom­ises for im­prove­ments in the Val­ley that haven’t been de­liv­ered on, such as im­prove­ments to the po­lice sta­tion and PCYC,” he said.

“We can’t take these things for granted. We need to plan for the fu­ture, and we need to make sure op­por­tu­ni­ties are there.

“Labour has promised, if elected, it will make Tafe the cen­tre of post-sec­ondary train­ing with a firm com­mit­ment to lift­ing ap­pren­tice­ships.”

But the State Gov­ern­ment said op­por­tu­ni­ties were on the up in the Der­went Val­ley un­der Lib­eral lead­er­ship.

“The Hodg­man Gov­ern­ment is in­vest­ing more than $4 mil­lion over four years in our Jobs Ac­tion Pack­age spe­cially fo­cused on re­gions with his­tor­i­cally high lev­els of un­em­ploy­ment, such as the Der­went Val­ley,” a gov­ern­ment spokesper­son said.

“This is be­ing de­liv­ered in part­ner­ship with TasCOSS and the TCCI, and this re­port forms part of the next stage to en­sure we un­der­stand the bar­ri­ers to em­ploy­ment.

“Work is al­ready un­der way to re­spond to the findings and we will have more to say about this soon.”

Der­went Val­ley Mayor Mar­tyn Evans said res­i­dents should feel hope­ful about the re­gion’s fu­ture.

“I think the Val­ley’s in a re­ally good place and I look for­ward to see­ing the pro­gres­sion over the next one to five years,” he said.

“The coun­cil wel­comes de­vel­op­ment ideas in the com­mu­nity for grow­ing jobs, skills and train­ing.”

Cr Evans said a pro­po­nent had emerged for a new de­vel­op­ment at the fire-rav­aged Glenora House site, with de­tails about a new “huge as­set for the Val­ley” ex­pected to be an­nounced soon.

It comes as a new rum dis­tillery was pro­posed for the Wil­low Court precinct this week.

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