Local Jobs Programme Employment Facilitator : Janine Culnane.
With a solid understanding of regional unemployment and a strong history of working actively with job seekers on the Mid North Coast, Janine Culnane has recently being appointed to the role of Employment Facilitator for the Mid North Coast, as part of the Australian Federal Government’s Local Jobs Programme.
The Local Jobs Programme was created to help solve employment issues caused by COVID19 which has caused an unprecedented impact on the Australian labour market. Together with longer term trends throughout the economy that are changing skill requirements in many jobs and occupations.
Employment Facilitators are engaging with employers and other key local stakeholders, to develop employment solutions at a local level. Facilitators will also work directly with employment services providers and training providers to develop short courses for job seekers in the region to move into the jobs identified in growth industries.
“I am excited to be able to take on the role of Employment Facilitator for the Mid North Coast. I have a long history of providing support for Jobseekers on their journey into employment and really understand the barriers and difficulties they face. Getting a job can be life changing for a person and their family.” Said Ms Culnane.
“Employers work hard to be successful and provide a great business offering and it is often difficult to undertake all the other work that needs to happen for successful recruiting of staff to support your business dreams.”
Ms Culnane has over a decade of experience working in Tertiary Education and Employment Services, from which she has gained an understanding and insights into the issues faced by both employers and job seekers in the Mid North Coast Region.
Positions held have included tenures at NORTEC as their Employment and Training Site Manager and Southern Cross University as an Associate Lecturer in Hospitality and Tourism. “The impact on communities where we have high levels of unemployment is tragic. Everyone wants to work, to contribute and my focus is to support Job Seekers moving forward in their journey and also to really assist Employers who have been facing significant stress over the last year with the impacts of both bushfires and COVID-19 hitting our region hard.” Said Ms Culnane.
Ms Culnane has spent her first weeks on the job travelling through the region connecting with stakeholders and gaining an understanding of the unique issues each Local Government Area is currently facing.
Last week she met with community members, council staff and business owners through the MidCoast Council region, traveling between Gloucester, Tea Gardens and Wingham.
“Janine will be a valuable asset to have working to support business and employment outcomes in the Mid North Coast region. With current labour shortages impacting many of the key industries in the MidCoast region including Tourism and Hospitality
“It is perfect timing to have Janine come on board.” said Robyn Brennan, Economic Development Coordinator, Mid Coast Council.
During her visit community members and businesses voiced their concerns around the lack of housing to rent or purchase. Employers advised they were unable to attract employees in skills shortage areas due to the lack of availability of rental accommodation for those wishing to relocate.
Staff shortages in hospitality, aged care and manufacturing are another key issue that Ms Culnane has identified during her conversations across the region.
“In speaking with number of business owners and local community support groups it reinforces that Covid 19 has caused significant impacts within communities but this is on the back of years of drought and then bushfires so the trauma and issues will not be quickly fixed.” Said Ms Culnane
“There is a clear message of resilience and connectedness coming from the communities I have visited so far, and their focus is on remaining strong and working towards solutions” Said Ms Culnane.
As part of their role Employment Facilitators will chair Local Jobs and Skills Taskforces work with local stakeholders including employers, employment services providers and training organisations to drive the development of a Local Jobs Plan.
Facilitators will also support local stakeholders to create targeted projects that meet the priorities of the plan and work with organisations that apply for funding through the Local Recovery Fund to ensure employment opportunities are maximised.