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Ipswich council outlines job creation plans

The number of jobs available in Ipswich is set to rise over the coming years, after the city’s council announced a new strategic framework for the region’s future development.

Advance Ipswich is a long-term plan devised after consultation with community groups, which included an Our Future Your Say survey among residents. According to Ipswich City Council, the initiative is an extension of the existing Ipswich 2020 and Beyond scheme and the Ipswich Community Plan i2031.

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale highlighted the importance of input from locals and outlined a few of the key objectives of Advance Ipswich.

“People told us what they want and above all it’s about strengthening our economy and creating the jobs of the future, managing growth and delivering infrastructure, caring for our community and the environment, and listening, leading and remaining financially responsible,” he stated.

“As a council we’re already taking steps to achieve real results in these areas, whether it’s the redevelopment of the CBD, the construction of Fire Station 101 or proactively managing transport needs through the new iGO plan.”

Mr Pisasale said Advance Ipswich is a flexible document that will be subject to change as priorities in the region shift. He also confirmed that community groups, businesses and other stakeholders will use the plan to structure their council growth programs.

Apprenticeships and traineeships in Ipswich

Council figures show the local labour force increased 44 per cent between 2001 and 2011, which was significantly higher than the 27.8 per cent average rise across Queensland. More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of Ipswich’s population are also in full-time employment, compared with the state’s 64 per cent.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard told the Queensland Times that apprenticeships and traineeships have played an important part in boosting employment opportunities. Ms Howard said Queensland’s payroll tax rebate was a key incentive, with 94 Ipswich businesses benefiting from $254,000 of state government refunds for taking on apprentices and trainees.

“That’s almost 100 local businesses now confident enough to hire trainees and help our young people into the workforce, and we’re working to do more,” she stated.

According to the Times, youth unemployment is on the decline in Ipswich, plummeting from 18 to 12 per cent over the last year, which Mr Pisasale said was one of the largest drops in the country.

The mayor also described the city as the “jobs capital of Queensland”, but he admitted there is still a long way to go to get apprenticeship and traineeship numbers up to where they were when he left school.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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