BlueScope Steel workers will be able to access information about the Australian Government’s support measures and re-employment opportunities at a Jobs Market at the Illawarra Hockey Stadium, Unanderra, tomorrow and Saturday.
Many local and interstate companies interested in employing BlueScope workers will be there to meet workers face-to-face to discuss their job vacancies.
Minister for Jobs, Senator Chris Evans, said the Jobs Market will focus not only on BlueScope workers but also on those who may lose their jobs in related businesses.
“I urge Australian employers in related industries to give BlueScope workers special attention for recruitment,” Senator Evans said.
“For those BlueScope workers who decide to relocate for employment, the Gillard Government’s support package includes a grant of up to $6000 for relocation and another $3000 for those with dependent children.”
Minister for Human Services Tanya Plibersek said the Australian Government will provide information and services at the Jobs Market, including financial advice, social work support, information on Centrelink payments, careers reference centres and tax.
“Workers and contractors are encouraged to come to the Jobs Market to take advantage of the free services on offer and find out what assistance payments they might be eligible for,” Ms Plibersek said.
Minister for Employment Participation, Kate Ellis said that the expo was a great opportunity for local job seekers and people interested in undertaking training to meet a range of employers and training providers in a single location.”
“This is a practical example of the Australian Government’s commitment to investing in communities who are doing it tough and helping people get back to work,” Ms Ellis said.
Illawarra Federal MP’s Stephen Jones and Sharon Bird will be at Illawarra Hockey Stadium today to launch the Jobs Market.
Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones said “The Jobs Market today will be a great opportunity for BlueScope workers and their families to receive not only information about job opportunities but also access to a range of government services and advice to help them through this difficult time.”
Member for Cunningham Sharon Bird added “This Jobs Market is a great demonstration that the Government stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the workers and contractors from BlueScope Steel.”
National and interstate companies at the Jobs Market include BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto, Hatch, UGL Ltd, Nepean, Beca Ltd, Boral, Joy Mining, BAE Systems and Sucrogen.
Local companies include D&D Services, Plaut, IRT, Edmen, Fibre Optics Design and Construct and the Wollongong City Council.
There will be more than 80 exhibitors, including the Illawarra’s Job Services Australia providers.
The Jobs Market is being funded by the Australian Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, and coordinated by the department’s Local Employment Coordinator, working closely with BlueScope Steel and other Australian and State Government agencies, including Centrelink.
Since BlueScope’s announcement of job losses on 22 August, job vacancies have been flooding in to its own job centre. Other companies have become aware of the Jobs Market as a result of the Local Employment Coordinator network and the Australian Government’s Innovative Regions Centre.
Thousands of jobs will be advertised at the Jobs Market. Some job offers will be made on the day, but it is likely that most will take place in the following weeks.
The Jobs Market builds on the immediate and practical support for affected workers and communities provided by the Australian Government, including:
- An Investment and Innovation Fund of $30 million to support new businessventures and create innovative, high-skilled jobs, predominantly in manufacturing and manufacturing services in the region. This fund will be made up of $20million from the Commonwealth Government and further contributions of $5million from the NSW State Government and $5 million from BlueScope Steel.
- Assistance of up to $10 million from the Commonwealth Government for immediate access to intensive services by Job Services Australia providers and training assistance to help affected workers find work in industries where there are more job opportunities.
- Fast-tracked relocation assistance for BlueScope workers who have been made redundant and who find employment in another location. Normally, a person must have been unemployed for three months before becoming eligible for this assistance - however BlueScope workers who have been made redundant will be immediately eligible for payments of up to $6000 of relocation assistance, with an additional $3000 in the case of families with dependent children.
- Free financial advice provided through Centrelink’s network of Financial Information Service Officers, and other personal support through Centrelink’s network of social workers.