Ipswich Council has embarked on an ambitious plan which aims to boost local employment.
The project will involve business, government and industry working together to boost the workforce.
Kara Butler reports.
The 1,000 Local Jobs Project started today in a bid to find a local solution to a national problem.
With Ipswich below state and national employment averages. The program encourages big and small employers to come on board with the government and recruit, retrain and retain unemployed citizens.
The local Mayor says the district has been through high unemployment in the past, and residents don’t want to go their again.
Coun Paul Pisasale, Ipswich Mayor: “People have to realise that being unemployed is a really serious thing. It affects your community values, your self-respect, and what we have to do is help people through this traumatic period in their life.”
Local businesses welcome the initiative, along with the general growth of the Ipswich region.
James Sturges, local businessman: “We’re really hoping this program not only helps our business but helps a lot of other business in Ipswich, and by doing that hopefully our business will grow because we will have people who will need more cars on their business growth.”
Wearing his Employment portfolio cap, the Treasurer has applauded both the council and the business community for getting behind an initiative which puts people in jobs.
Andrew Fraser, Minister for Employment: “I think that there could be more cities around Queensland that could take their lead from the way in which Ipswich is going ahead.”
Andrew Fraser, Minister for Employment: “The real cost isn’t the dollars, the real cost is the human cost, and there is no greater cost then for young people in particular to lose hope. That’s why this is such a great program.”
And the Mayor says it’s about time everyone worked together.
Coun Paul Pisasale, Ipswich Mayor: “Unemployment is like a disease that creeps into our community and if we can eliminate it in our state then it’s a lot better than eliminating it in Ipswich.”
It’s hoped once the 1000th job is filled, the project won’t stop, and Ipswich will be the triger for a nationwide roll-out.
Kara Butler, QUT News