No regrets for tree changers heading west to put down roots

SENIOR occupational therapist at Orange hospital Erin Doyle is among a group of health professionals and tradespeople who are responding to the Evocities campaign to encourage city dwellers to move west for more job opportunities and an improved lifestyle.

Data just released by the Evocities project shows health professionals including doctors and nurses, tradies and teachers are in strong demand across regional New South Wales.

The data, collected over three years via EvoJobs, an online portal that connects job seekers, employers and employment agencies in the seven Evocities of Orange, Bathurst, Dubbo, Albury, Armidale, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga has recorded 13,000 vacancies since September 2010.

Most job seekers were looking for work in manufacturing, local government, retail, hospitality, and the call centre industry.

Ms Doyle had been studying, living and working in Sydney for 10 years when a job opportunity presented itself at Orange hospital and she moved here in May 2012.

“Orange seemed like the right choice for me because it was a great new hospital, with good services and a lifestyle that appealed to me,” Ms Doyle said.

OUR SAY: THE CHANGING FACE OF ORANGE'S WORKFORCE IS A HEALTHY RESPONSE

Ms Doyle, who competes regularly in triathlon events in her spare time, says Orange and the hospital was a perfect work life balance.

“In Sydney I didn’t even know my next door neighbours and all my friends were my own age.

“Here in Orange I have such a mix of friends of all ages and there is such a strong sense of community,” she said.

Ms Doyle says the lower cost of living in Orange compared to Sydney was also a factor in her decision to move.

“I’ve been able to buy my own house here and I love how there is such a strong emphasis on our local produce,” she said.

Evocities spokesperson James Treloar said it was promising to see so many job opportunities across the Evocities, putting to bed the myth that high quality careers don’t exist outside capital cities.

“Holding many people back from a move is the misguided perception that quality jobs don’t exist in regional areas.

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