A Clutha employment initiative has notched up two years on the job.
Clutha District Council launched ‘‘Jobbortunities’’ mid›2020 with $500,000 Ministry of Social Development funding, under the Mayors’ Task Force for Jobs Community Recovery Programme.
The initiative has since helped place more than 180 South Otago locals in employment, including 39 apprentices in the building trade.
Programme co›ordinator Ruth Carraway said the demand from employers in the region remained strong, and Jobbortunities would be holding an anniversary job fair in Balclutha on Tuesday to continue to fill the gaps.
‘‘We’ve exceeded our targets for matching faces with places during these two years, but there are still several hundred jobs of all types, including further apprenticeships, available out there.
‘‘We’ll continue to work with job›hunters, those we’ve helped place, and their employers into this third year to both consolidate and build on those gains.’’
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan said the tenor of the programme would shift away from Covid relief and into filling critical vacancies and supporting Jobbortunities participants now in work.
‘‘We’ve had a job market shake›up recently with our new Countdown opening in Balclutha, and this job fair will address recruitment needs for the wider district that still act as the number one inhibitor to further growth in Clutha.
‘‘It’s been a fantastic two years that’s exceeded all our expectations, but there’s plenty to do yet, and we’re not slowing down.’’
Mr Cadogan said MSD funding had been cut substantially for the coming year, which placed the longer› term future of the initiative in a ‘‘precarious’’ position.
‘‘We’re grateful to the MSD that we can continue the positive work we’ve begun here in Clutha but, as with all initiatives of this type, we understand there is a precariousness to the investment.
‘‘At the end of the day, we’ve helped 180 predominantly young locals into work, and that can only be a good thing.’’
The Jobbortunities job fair takes place at the Cross Recreation Centre, Balclutha, from 4pm to 7pm on Tuesday, June 14.
It’s been a fantastic two years that’s exceeded all our expectations, but there’s plenty to do yet, and we’re not slowing down.