There are job vacancies in businesses across the Sunshine Coast ahead of the extension and reduction in the level of coronavirus supplement JobSeeker payments coming into effect on Monday. Federal Member for Fisher Andrew Wallace described today how he is receiving daily enquiries from local businesses who are struggling to find workers despite high official unemployment rates on the Sunshine Coast.
“These have been incredibly difficult times for all of us on the Sunshine Coast, and for those who have lost their jobs even more so. The economic challenges we face are far from over, but I know that there are great jobs available in many sectors on the Sunshine Coast right now. In recent weeks I have received calls and emails every day from employers like Kendall and Michelle, who have good, meaningful jobs they are looking to fill right now and who need many more local applicants.” Mr Wallace said.
From today the Coronavirus Supplement Payment will be extended but reduced to $250 a fortnight, equating to a new total JobSeeker amount of $800 per fortnight. Alongside this continuing payment, the Government will extend the so-called “Income Free Area” for JobSeeker, meaning that an individual will be able to earn an additional $300 a fortnight from part time work, or from running a small business, without affecting the amount of JobSeeker they receive.
“The jobs market has been improving consistently nationwide since June. Though across the country we lost around a million jobs in April in May due to COVID-19, since then around 500,000 new jobs have been created in their place and the number continues to grow. Programs like HomeBuilder are creating a local boom for construction and new customers for local businesses are moving here in droves from Victoria and New South Wales. We will only see more opportunities for local workers in the weeks and months to come and I encourage anyone on the Coast who needs a job to take this opportunity to think again about how their skills could fit in to a brand new sector.” he said.
Prominent jobs website Seek.com.au listed 1,765 jobs available on the Sunshine Coast at 10am on 25 September 2020.
Michelle Christoe, owner of the Malt Shovel Taphouse and NightQuarter Markets in Birtinya said “We are grateful for the assistance that the Jobseeker and Jobkeeper programs have provided to keep everyone in business. It’s been a tough year for our industry, and we are proud that our venue Malt Shovel Taphouse is back open trading 7 days a week and that we are about to launch an exciting new entertainment precinct in here on the Sunshine Coast.”
“We have jobs advertised with positions ranging from chefs, restaurant staff, bar staff, apprenticeships and traineeships however we are receiving very few applications compared to the same period last year. Our new venture NightQuarter offers the community up to 400 jobs but we have received very few applications for the advertised roles which is unusual. NightQuarter is an exciting new venue with unique bars, food outlets and live music stages opening soon and we welcome applicants coming off Jobseeker who want to get back behind the bar!”
As part of the extension of the coronavirus supplement, the Australian Government is reintroducing the assets test and partner income tests, as well as increasing mutual obligations which will require most job seekers to agree a job plan and apply for jobs where possible.
Kendall Morton, Director of Home Care Assistance Sunshine Coast said “Aged care is one of the fastest growing industries on the Sunshine Coast. The work is very rewarding and our staff have the chance to improve people’s lives every day. Home Care Assistance is an award-winning local company with a great reputation yet even though we have roles available across the business, we are finding it difficult to get the candidates we need. If you are looking for work on the Sunshine Coast, why not consider joining one of our region’s biggest emerging industries, get some new skills, meet some fantastic people and make a tremendous difference to the lives of local seniors?”
The Federal Government is investing $2 billion in the JobTrainer fund and apprentices wage subsidies and has brought forward more than $9.3 billion in infrastructure projects, in addition to the HomeBuilder program and $1.5 billion in defence projects to stimulate jobs growth nationwide.
Mr Wallace said “The Government has invested billions of dollars already this year to help stimulate jobs growth, and I am sure that the coming Federal Budget will include even more. It is up to all of us now to work together to get the Sunshine Coast back on track and ensure it emerges from this COVID crisis stronger than ever.”
Job seekers with questions about the extension of the coronavirus supplement, or who are looking for further support with finding a job should begin by contacting Centrelink on 136 240.