Expo gives job seekers - and job placers - a helping hand

LEARNING THE TRADE: Angus Wickham gets a few leathercraft tips from Angus Barrett. Photo: STEVE GOSCH                                             0731sgjobs5

LEARNING THE TRADE: Angus Wickham gets a few leathercraft tips from Angus Barrett. Photo: STEVE GOSCH 0731sgjobs5

WHILE most attending Thursday’s Central West Jobs Expo were bright-eyed high school students looking for career inspiration, for others, the day was about finding the right fit.

Skillset business manager Amanda Ferguson said the organisation was able to refer students to apprenticeships and traineeships.

“Especially with TAFE being here, we can send people straight over to the teachers who are teaching that trade,” she said.

But for Greg Cooper, general manager of engineering and architect firm Geolyse, being a stallholder at the expo was crucial to demonstrating the benefits of pursuing a more-specialised profession in regional NSW.

“It’s hard to find local employees, and local employees are what we really like,” he said.

“We’ve got a couple of boomerangs who moved away from Orange and came back. You can spend time in the city designing the same road running north, or you can come out here where you do a whole wide range of diverse work.”

Nikolas Smyth, 24, was one of the older jobseekers attending the expo. 

While he had training and work experience across business, welding, automotive and even retail, he said finding a job had been more difficult and he had been looking for the past two years.

“I’ve been looking at automotive because that’s pretty interesting,” he said.

Expo committee member Tamara James said about 1200 people attended the event.

“There was more activity from all the demonstrations and people were really able to get hands on,” she said.

While attendance was slightly higher than previous years, Ms James said few were mature workers.

“My initial reaction was definitely next year, we might take a different angle to ramp up that side of things,” she said.

The expo was organised by TAFE Western, State Training Services, Orange City Council, Orange Business Chamber and Skillset.

danielle.cetinski@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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