Townsville Region Jobseeker Rate over 14%
According to official data, Townsville region has over 16,000 jobseekers, that despite a variety of region wide skills gaps, cant seem to find a job. Townsville official 12 month unemployment rate remains steady at 6.8%, while the “covid unemployment rate” is higher. The number of jobs in Townsville has improved over the past 3.5 years but the region needs a Skills Security and Diversity Plan.
Clayton Cook Manager of TP Human Capital Townsville said “Townsville region has a stubborn Jobseeker challenge with 14.6% of the workforce on Jobseeker and even more on Job Active. This is despite a buoyant construction sector, local business advertising in shopfronts for workers and seasonal agricultural businesses pleading for workers.
Almost three years ago DS Economics forecast better current Significant construction conditions. They identified and quantified skills required by each project. Today’s skills challenge is a combination of previous inaction by government on local training and jobseeker complacency.”
Regional Economist Colin Dwyer said “With even more significant projects in the pipeline we see deepening skill shortages in Townsville and other regions. This will probably add costs and delivery delays to projects. In part, more training is required to combat these undesirable conditions.
Around Townsville multiple businesses have signs out advertising for mostly unskilled workers. The lack of international students and generous jobseeker payments have placed many local business in an unexpected position. Many Trades are proving difficult to hire (eg Mechanics, Refrigeration Mechanics, Construction workers), and with economic uncertainty meaning people are less likely to be looking for work and remaining with their current employment.
As Mango and Lychee picking season starts, our horticultural sector is pleading for workers but with little reaction from local Jobseekers.”
Mr Cook said “Over the past three years the regions workforce has grown by almost 17,000 jobs. Townsville needs a skills security and diversity plan that trains Jobseekers, supports local business and reinforces a more consistent economy and jobs market. If something doesn’t change soon the skills squeeze is only going to get worse, projects will cost more, there will be project delays and many businesses will operate below expectations. While the federal budget and JobMaker program provides confidence but we need a state government that supports local training plan.
Contact Clayton Cook for comment.