Business SA has formed a new alliance with Workskil Australia to boost efforts to reduce unemployment, including among the state’s youth.
South Australia’s youth unemployment rate is above the national average.
Announcing the jobs initiative, chief executive Nigel McBride said Business SA and Workskil Australia will be working together to identify job opportunities in metropolitan and regional areas of SA and help fill the roles with suitable candidates, many of whom are economically or social disadvantaged.
“The prime goal of our partnership is to increase employment in South Australia, and not only in Adelaide, but also in the regions. Business SA has the network of thousands of employers and Workskil Australia has thousands of jobseekers,” McBride said.
“Together we will be able to utilise our combined resources to offer a comprehensive program of employment related services to businesses. Employers will be able to obtain free recruitment services, advice on workplace relations and on employing trainees and apprentices,” he said.
Workskil Australia chief executive officer Nicole Dwyer said “our two organisations bring extensive employer networks and thousands of job seekers to the table. We’re confident we can get more South Australians into work, help local businesses boost capacity and fuel economic activity in this State”.
The relationship with Workskil continues Business SA’s efforts to tackle unemployment, including youth unemployment where South Australia currently has an unemployment rate of 23.6 per cent, above the national average of 20 per cent.
In 2014 the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), of which Business SA is a member, released a major policy statement addressing the concerns of youth unemployment entitled Learning to Work.
The policy recommendations in Learning to Work not only covered vocational training and skills development but also the important role apprenticeships can play in giving young people a start in a career.
Business SA’s 2014 Charter for a More Prosperous South Australia called on the State Government to reinstate the payroll tax exemption for wages paid to apprentices and trainees.
“Matching training programs to skills required by employers and providing incentives for employers to hire apprentices are essential elements in the hiring of young people but we cannot ignore the more human aspect of working, which is enjoying your chosen career and understanding the demands of the workforce, which need to be developed in meaningful work experience,” McBride said.
To help achieve meaningful work experience Business SA has also been involved with the Foundation for Young Australians which helped to launch the Work Inspiration program in 2013.
Work Inspiration is an Australian-wide, employer-led campaign that aims to ensure that students undertaking work experience have a meaningful and worthwhile experience.
It is based on a program that has been developed and piloted by British Telecom in the United Kingdom. The program was developed to provide young people with a clearer picture of work, to equip them to make decisions about their future career paths, and to increase their employability.
“Helping young people find the right career, by engaging them in meaningful work experience well before they leave school, is essential to our economic prosperity,” McBride said.
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