A new Jobs and Skills Centre was officially opened in Mandurah on Wednesday morning, aiming to address the region’s high youth unemployment rate.
Located at South Metropolitan TAFE, the centre is a one-stop-shop for students, jobseekers and career changers looking to improve their skills and job prospects.
Education and Training Minister Sue Ellery was there to officially open the precinct and said the centre was particularly important in the Peel region to ensure young people get the information and assistance they need to combat local unemployment.
“The Centre is all about creating jobs for people from Mandurah and across the region by directly linking training with employment, based on the needs of the local industry,” she said.
“Both employers and job-seekers need access to high-quality training and employment advice and services.
“It’s not just about putting people in front of a computer screen, it’s about career advice and guiding people through understanding what their options are and how they can best access them.”
Mandurah MP David Templeman said the centre was crucial to improve the employment and training needs of local people and businesses.
“This region has, for some time, experienced ongoing high levels of unemployment particularly in the youth sector,” he said.
“We unfortunately also have generational unemployment which of course impacts on work-readiness.
“We are working hard to address this community issue and the most effective way of combating such social issues is through opportunities for employment and training.”
Despite being officially launched on Wednesday morning, the centre has been operating since August and has already seen impressive results.
Career information services have been provided on 229 ocassions in the last eight weeks and 19 clients assisted into education and training.
Auston Newburry from Greenfields, secured a heavy diesel apprenticeship at WestGold Resources with support from his advisor Rod Rodriguez from the centre after he expressed his concerns about disclosing his autism and what to do in an interview.
“The centre helped me improve my interviewing skills particularly. I was just going to walk into the room wearing nothing but shorts and a shirt but after speaking with Rod, he really helped me treat it like I was trying to sell myself,” Auston said.
“Myself and three others were picked out of 530 applicants so I must have impressed them and I’m pretty proud of that.
“I work two weeks on, one week off in Meekatharra and I really like that. I can see myself doing this into the future.”
Staff at the centre will also provide free professional and practical advice on training and employment opportunities, career advice and apprenticeship and training information.
In an effort to meet the Peel region’s unique local needs, the centre will work closely with school leavers, youth at risk, sole parents and employers and industry.
“These centres are already proving their value with clients like Auston achieving their employment and training goals and employers supported to find staffing solutions,” Ms Ellery said.
“Certainly I got the message very early when this centre opened that it was doing business at a brisk rate from day one and this is an indication of the need there’s no question about that.
“I look forward to having a look around at how this centre is operating and I’m very pleased to be able to declare it open.”
For more information, visit www.jobsandskills.wa.gov.au.