Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Careers expo — getting local people to work for local business

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Organised by Regina Hunter and Tegan Hinchey last weeks Careers Expo attracted a wide variety of organisations eager to show locals what employment opportunities they had to offer.

Danny Lester, Director of Aboriginal Outcomes for the Department of Regional NSW was impressed with the event and had a number of thoughts he wanted to share.

Danny said he has found in life that when you don’t know what you don’t know your choices can be limited. Danny feels that by offering Wilcannia students, of all ages, not just those ready to leave school, information on the vast number of opportunities out there they will have the chance to make a sound choice, even develop a dream to have a certain career.

Danny, the father of three boys, was speaking from experience when he stressed that it is important to get kids to look for a career, not just any old job that comes along. He realises the challenges parents face when there appear to be limited opportunities, when the reality is they are there if you look in the right place. Also families should be prepared to support their kids while in training and developing their skills. Danny has found that even though he has progressed up the ladder in his chosen field, he is still having to learn new skills and adopt to new ways of doing things.

He has noticed, as most employers have, there is a move away from manual jobs, so there has to be a move away from training for training’s sake and a greater focus on offering training in specific employer demanded skills. It is these skills that will give employees ‘transportability’ meaning you take them with you should you decide to move to another area, for whatever reason.

This type of training will require government and training providers to re-think what and how they offer training, and that it must be local employment driven. No point in training 15 baristas if there is only employer demand for 4. Danny said future training programs will need to be bespoke for the community and will require employers to become true partners in giving the local workforce the opportunity.

Wilcannia News May 2023

This article appeared in the Wilcannia News, May 2023.


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