It’s hoped an innovative new jobs expo will reinvigorate the Fraser Coast’s employment landscape.
The Fraser Coast Industry and Careers Showcase, which is set to take place at the Maryborough Showgrounds on October 12, will bring together employers and trainers with jobseekers.
The showcase, a partnership between Jobs Fraser Coast and Fraser Coast Regional Council, is open to jobseekers of all ages – from students and school leavers through to people returning to the workforce, looking for a career change or just looking for inspiration.
Fraser Coast Mayor George Seymour said the indoor-outdoor event was the only one of its kind in the region, providing real-world insights into a range of roles through live demonstrations, hands-on experiences and opportunities to talk to industry experts.
“The showcase aims to help jobseekers not just to discover a new career in their own back yard, but also to find the pathway to get there, with the help of a range of training and education organisations who will also be exhibiting,” the Mayor said.
“We also hope the event will be a big boost to our fantastic local employers, many of whom are struggling to fill vacancies and are frequently looking for skilled workers of all kinds.
“As a council, we’re well aware of the employment and skills challenges our region continues to experience. So it’s important for us to support this event, which we hope will make significant and meaningful inroads into growing our own local talent and strengthening our local economy.”
The showcase is the brainchild of the Fraser Coast Regional Jobs Committee, which is funded by the Queensland Government and is charged with supporting the growth and development of a strong, capable and skilled workforce in the region.
Committee chair, Michelle Hay, who is also head of University of the Sunshine Coast’s Fraser Coast campus, said now was the time to start taking steps towards reshaping the local workforce.
“Previously, through our tourism and agriculture sectors, we’ve tended to rely on international workers,” Ms Hay said.
“But we’re entering a boom, particularly in Maryborough, and there will be a lot more opportunities – some that people might not know about or have considered before.
“We want people to come along, see something they’re interested in, talk to industry representatives about what it’s like, chat to training providers to find a pathway to get there – and maybe even fill a position or get an apprenticeship on the day.
“We believe this showcase is the right event for our times, and we intend for it to become a pivotal part of the annual calendar.”
One of the key employers supporting the event will be Downer, which will give visitors a close-up look at an impressive array of equipment and products manufactured on the Fraser Coast to showcase potential career opportunities.
Downer operations manager, John Shelford said with maintenance and overhaul contracts for Queensland Rail’s passenger trains and the possibility of building new rolling stock in future, the company had immediate vacancies to fill and could offer secure work for many years to come.
“Right now our workforce is sitting at just over 460 and we’re forecasting further growth by early next year, from new apprentices through to professional services staff,” Mr Shelford said.
“We’re more than just engineering. We employ a multitude of trades including electricians, boilermakers, carpenters, and fitters and turners – there are a whole lot of skills required to maintain or build a train.
“As a business, our ongoing challenges remain attracting people with the right skillset or being able to provide accommodation locally for them if they come from outside the area. So it’s key for us to look locally when building our skills and workforce.
“For us, this event represents a great opportunity to showcase our expertise and opportunities to a big audience, help our community – and especially our next generation – understand what we can offer, and continue to build the workforce we need to realise our very promising future in the region.
“But it’s not just about us – we’d love to see the event boost other industries and the region generally. A strong, sustainable Fraser Coast is good for all of us.”
For more details, visit www.jobsfrasercoast.com.au/industry-showcase or follow @JobsFraserCoast on Facebook for regular updates.