SWN celebrates second anniversary
by Anthony McConnon, Workforce Development Coordinator, Southcentral Workforce Network (SWN)
September marked the second anniversary of the Southcentral Workforce Network (SWN). The project was the result of a successful grant application from the Southern Central Subregion (SCS) to the Tasmanian Community Fund to establish a workforce development project to service the Southern Midlands, Central Highlands, Derwent Valley and Brighton municipalities.
Our first six months focused on connecting with industry and job seekers in the four municipalities, understanding the barriers each faced and streamlining the recruitment process. The project also focused on providing training options to upskill employed and unemployed people.
Early in the second year the project received funding from the State Government to establish a Regional Jobs Hub in Pontville, under the banner of Jobs Tasmania. This has allowed the project to recruit a Hub Manager, two Career Advisors and a Trainee Administration Assistant.
We can now meet with a greater number of businesses and jobseekers from the office. Support is on an individual basis, as no business or job seeker has the same requirements. The Pontville office gives the project the flexibility to offer a great number of training solutions to the region, which can now be delivered from its two training rooms.
Outreach services are available in Oatlands, Bothwell and New Norfolk. Project staff meet with jobseekers and businesses in their own region and help those who don’t have access to transport. The project is now also supported by the Area Connect service which can assist those unable to access transport to attend employment or training.
Up until now, 668 community members have registered and 232 of them have gained employment, with the majority of these roles being permanent full-time or part-time. 27 of these roles have resulted in apprenticeships or traineeships. 576 candidate CVs have been distributed to businesses in the subregion who have had registered vacancies with the program. 46 training programs have been delivered, resulting in the upskilling of 515 participants. The project has also taken part in 774 business meetings since it was established.
This progress could not have happened without the support provided by the four subregion councils. Each has been pivotal in providing the assistance to allow the project to operate and should be commended.