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New targets for regional Back to Work program

Queensland relies just as much on its regional areas as its major population centres. As Deloitte recently reported that the state has a balanced economy that is supported by a diverse set of industries from mining through to tourism, it’s important that there are plenty of opportunities for people to pursue apprenticeships in Queensland.

A new government focus on regional areas has been announced.

However, there are a number of challenges facing regional areas of the state. In many cases, it can be difficult for people to find apprenticeship opportunities and for businesses to find the right talent. To remedy this, a new government focus on regional areas has been announced.

Government targets Wide Bay-Burnett for job growth

While the Queensland government’s Back to Work program has a significant focus on regional areas of the state as a whole, the government is also looking to target specific areas to create more job opportunities. The latest focus is the area of Wide Bay-Burnett, where government representatives met with organisations to discuss the potential effects of the Back to Work initiative.

For employers, the main incentive is the ability for them to access up to $15,000 for hiring people who are otherwise struggling to find work. The benefits are calculated based on how long the new hire has been out of the workforce, thereby encouraging employers to provide assistance to those who need it most.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk notes that employers in the Wide Bay-Burnett area have already made the most of the initiative, events that will hopefully prompt others to follow suit.

“Two dedicated Back to Work officers are already on the ground in the Wide Bay-Burnett, helping to connect local employers with jobseekers, with others to be progressively rolled out in other parts of regional Queensland,” she said.

“I want to encourage regional employers to take advantage of this scheme and the significant payments available for taking on an unemployed person.”

Some regional areas are struggling to offer work opportunities.Some regional areas are struggling to offer work opportunities.

What is the Back to Work package?

Comprised of $100 million in funding spread across two years, the back to work initiative intends to provide added support to regions that may be struggling as the commodities boom winds down. In these economic conditions, businesses may not have the confidence to hire an apprentice, especially if their own future is uncertain.

The package will provide particular attention to employers looking to hire mature workers, people who have been unemployed for a considerable period of time and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator.

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