Getting Maitland and Hunter Valley job seekers skilled and back to work is the priority for Karla Notman, the newly appointed Hunter Employment Facilitator.
Ms Notman, who grew up in Maitland, is one of 25 Australian Government appointed employment facilitators supporting the delivery of its $62.8 million Local Jobs Programacross Australia.
Facilitators work on- the- ground to support employers and job seekers to connect with employment and training opportunities, with a Local Recovery Fund of $780,000 available in the Hunter to support projects in line with the program.
"As the nation recovers from COVID-19, our focus will be on helping redeploy displaced workers, building skills for the Hunter region's growth and getting disadvantaged groups of people working," Ms Notman said.
She will also chair a new Hunter Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce.
"An important issue is addressing our region's high unemployment rates in specific groups such as Indigenous people and young people."
She said the Hunter region has unique challenges including high youth unemployment.
"Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows the youth unemployment rate is 18 per cent in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and 14 per cent in the Hunter Valley."
"A Hunter Indigenous person of working age is more than twice as likely to be unemployed than a non-indigenous person."
Ms Notman is delivering the program through the Hunter business coaching and training firm The Finer Line. She is working with and being supported by the firm's founder and director Cheryl Royle. Ms Royle is also the Australian Government's appointed entrepreneurship facilitator in the Hunter.
"Helping people to start their own businesses is another way to help get people back to work and the economy growing," Ms Royle said.
Hunter Local Jobs and Skills Taskforce
Karla Notman (Chair), Hunter Employment Facilitator
Liana Nadalin, Training Services NSW
Evan Steverson, Regional NSW
David Broughton, Salvation Army Employment Plus
Tim Owen, Hunter Defence
Viv Allanson, Maroba
Mikhaila Halford, Ampcontrol
Mikaella Latimore, Life Without Barriers
Amy De Lore, Hunter Business Chamber
Simon Massey, City of Newcastle, supported by Hunter Joint Organisation
For more information visit https://www.dese.gov.au/local-jobs-program/fact-sheets/hunter