A South Australian Government investment in the Far North is helping support skills and jobs growth in the region.

Minister for Employment, Higher Education and Skills Gail Gago said that this financial year, the Government has invested more than $580,000 in local initiatives delivered through the Skills for Jobs in Regions program.

“Jobs remain one of this government’s top priorities and, through Skills for Jobs in Regions, we’re helping to deliver local programs that support local jobs,” she said. “Funding this financial year is expected to help around 440 people living in the Far North get the skills they need to secure jobs locally.

“Our aim is to place up to 14,000 people across the State into jobs within their local communities over the next three years by delivering tailored employment projects that respond to local regional workforce needs.”

Minister for Regional Development Geoff Brock said locally delivered programs ensured the best possible outcomes, because they helped ensure strong ties between the programs on offer and skills needs within the local workforce.

“Skills for Jobs in Regions helps jobseekers and displaced workers strengthen their skills, and obtain work that’s been identified by local employers and industry,” he said.

“As part of this commitment, the Government is also investing in career transition services that equip people with the skills to transition from learning to training and to work.

“In total this financial year, $9.5 million is being invested in 170 projects across South Australia.” One of the participants who has benefited from the Skills for Jobs in Regions program is Natasha Brassel, 34, of Port Augusta.

Ms Brassel was unemployed for more than 12 months prior to commencing the Women in Heavy Industry Training program. She is now employed at Red Mulga as an operator. “I found it really difficult securing ongoing work because I didn’t have the required tickets and certified training,” she said.

“With the support of the program I was able to obtain a Certificate II in Civil Construction, licences to operate an excavator, front end loader, skid steer and forklift. “I was only two days short of completing the program when I was offered a job at Red Mulga, which was just fantastic.

“I am now working towards getting my MC licence, which will give me a better chance at securing full time employment.” Some of the projects which are being delivered are:

• Heavy Industry Training and Women in Heavy Industries – transitions jobseekers into heavy industries jobs in mining, transportation and construction.

These projects deliver a Certificate II in Civil Construction, industry tickets, licences and features structured mentoring for participants.

• Careers in Community Services – assists people who have completed Certificate III in Community Services into employment.

Local employers work alongside participants to provide work experience and structured mentoring.

• Taste of Training – assists long term unemployed jobseekers and people who have become retrenched to build skills for work in the retail and hospitality industries. Participants are matched to job vacancies.

• Community Learning Places (Roxby Downs) – assists women who are long term unemployed and retrenched workers to return to the workforce.

Participants build their skills and confidence through non-accredited training and obtain industry specific tickets and licences.

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