Hume jobs boom

13 Sep 2017 • Mansfield Courier, Mansfield VIC (General News)

JOBS have soared in the local region as unemployment in Mansfield remains steady at 3.2 per cent. Recently released figures from the State Government reflect a broader upward trend in regional Victoria, specifically in the Hume region. The unemployment rate in the Hume region has shrunk to 2.5 per cent as of July 2017, down from 4.3 per cent at the same time in 2016. In that same time period, employment in the region has increased by almost 3000 jobs. Since 2014 the Hume region has put on 10,900 new jobsand the unemployment rate has fallen from 5.8 to 2.3 per cent. Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) says the unemployment data in Mansfield is good news for local families. “Mansfield’s unemployment rate dropping from 3.5 per cent to 3.2 per cent is a great indication that the State Government’s focus on creating jobs and growing regional economies is having a tangible impact on regional families,” Ms Symes said. However, local member for Eildon Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eildon) says more investment needs to be made in Mansfield to continue to keep local businesses enjoying success. “For the last 11 months Victoria’s unemployment is higher than the national average,” said Ms McLeish. “Businesses will face even more pressure with electricity prices continuing to rise. “The most recent data for Mansfield Shire shows the unemployment rate at 3.2 per cent with 141 unemployed persons in the region. “While these are positive signs for Mansfield, we must act to ensure the security of local jobs over the long term. “That’s why Mansfield requires the investment that is needed to provide the infrastructure and services that businesses need to operate. “For example, improving and maintaining our local road network will make doing business easier and ensure that tourists continue to want to visit our region.” Mansfield’s unemployment rate has remained favourable and steady at around the 3 – 4 per cent mark for most of the decade. One local organisation that helps locals stay in the job market is MACE (Mansfield Continuing Education Centre). MACE provides educational and vocational training and support to the local community, helping adults gain employment and remain employed. The organisation has been a strong supplier of hospitality and tourism training to the local community – which is very relevant for the job market and demographic in Mansfield. MACE’s chief finance and business manager, Kylie Richards, says that MACE strives to be a valuable community education provider for the town. Continued page 3 Hume jobs boom From page 1 “MACE is still connected to the community by providing learning opportunities through pre-accredited training and short courses,” Ms Richards said. “The idea is to direct pathways into employment and further education.” The organisation also offers training for young people, people with a disability, workplaces and businesses. With many strong businesses, self-employed workers, and a thriving tourism and hospitality industry, Mansfield’s economy is structurally well placed for the future. From the Mansfield District Business Association’s (MDBA) point-of-view, employment driven by seasonal tourism continues to shore up the local economy. “Employment always spikes at this time of the year in Mansfield Shire due to the increase of jobs in the snowfields,” said Pam ZierkMahoney, Mansfield District Business Association (MDBA) acting president. “Seasonal employment attracts a larger number of people to the area over winter – many on Mt Buller and Mt Stirling and with the ski hire companies, which makes our employment figures look fantastic. “MDBA is pleased to see there has been a boom for employment over the past four months which has been very positive for businesses both on and off the mountains.” Rhylla Morgan, a spokesperson at Buller Ski Lifts, says that Mt Buller plays a major role in providing jobs for local community, and opportunity for young people in particular. “Buller Ski Lifts (BSL) employs around 650 people every winter with around 50 people engaged year-round by the company,” said Ms Morgan. “BSL is a major employer of young people with over half the employees in the company aged between 20-30 years old and 75 per cent of them are Australians.” Ms Morgan said that the company provides a diverse range of employment opportunities in areas such as retail, coaching, child care, lift operators, hospitality, and in specialist fields such as engineering, IT, marketing, electrical, plumbing, snow making, human resources, accounting and health care. Caption Text: BOOM TIME: Aaron Maxfield buying some skis from retail technician Lucy Chatterton at Buller Sports. PHOTO: Steve Vivian Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.