Exploring employment pathways for young people in Murrindindi Shire

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A report highlighting employment opportunities for youth in Murrindindi Shire has delivered some hopeful news for young people and local employers, with a number of growing industries and job opportunities in our region.

The report was developed as part of the ‘How Work Works’ Youth Internship Program, a joint initiative between Murrindindi Shire Council and the Central Ranges Local Learning and Employment Network (CRLLEN).

As part of the Internship Program, a group of six young interns interviewed 19 local employers and 52 young people from across the Shire, to help them gain a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges our youth face in gaining local employment. They then developed the report, which explores available job opportunities, growing industries in our region, youth employment pathways, and recommendations on how we can increase employment and training opportunities for youth across the Shire.

Council and CRLLEN will continue to work together to implement the recommendations from the report.

Council’s Community Engagement and Wellbeing Portfolio Councillor Damien Gallagher said the report has identified significant employment opportunities for youth in our local area, including opportunities in entry-level roles, growing industries like agriculture, education and training, health care and construction, and in areas experiencing skill shortages.

‘This is encouraging news for school leavers and job seekers. There are some really helpful tips in the report to help our youth understand what employers are looking for. You might think that your experience is the most important thing to an employer, but there are a lot of other factors that you should be considering.

‘Although job opportunities are already out there, the report highlighted the need for improving vocational pathways in schools, by providing an opportunity for young people to meet employers and exploring alternatives to the traditional ‘work experience’ format’, Cr Gallagher said.

‘Young people need vital support from community, employers, schools and government to ensure they are well prepared to enter the workforce after they finish school. The impacts of COVID-19 are still being felt far and wide and we know that mental health and wellbeing is a critical issue for young people, particularly those living in rural Australia.

‘The report talks about the role local government can play in connecting and enhancing wellbeing services and activities for young people. As part of Council’s advocacy efforts, we are seeking support from the Victorian Government for a localised approach to improving mental health, including support to deliver a place-based mental health support service and the provision of an allied health support worker who can work with young people experiencing mental health issues.

‘If you’re a young person who’s thinking about your future, I hope this report provides you with hope and optimism that there are opportunities out there for you and that your communities and local employers want to see you succeed. I encourage you to chat to your career counsellor at school, keep an eye on various job platforms, including local newspapers, and reach out to local employers to discuss opportunities that might be available’, Cr Gallagher added.

To read the ‘How Work Works’ youth pathway report and to keep an eye on upcoming initiatives for young people, click here.

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