Focus on Valley jobs
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.