Bridges removing barriers to jobs

As I write this column, one of the world's greatest teachers is sharing his passion for maths with school students across the Murraylands and Riverland.

Australian Local Hero and YouTube sensation Eddie Woo is touring our region, inspiring the next generation of leaders.

It's an opportunity to support our young people to aspire to careers in the region's key industries including agriculture, tourism, food and wine.

Eddie's visit, initiated by Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland (RDAMR) in collaboration with the Australia Day Council of South Australia, is part of a future-thinking approach to help address the employment challenge in our region.

The Murraylands is ripe for jobs growth.

We are the food bowl of South Australia with Murray River tourism on our doorstep and significant renewable energy infrastructure projects in the wings.

There are jobs for the taking now and into the future, yet we have job seekers facing barriers to employment while businesses struggle to attract and retain the people they need.

Eddie's visit is just one of a number of RDAMR programs seeking to build the bridge to employment.

In response to research showing 30 to 40 per cent of regional students fail to complete their first year of study, the Murray River Study Hub was launched this year.

The study hub provides school leavers and mature-age students with improved accessibility to tertiary education so they no longer need to commute long distances or live away from home.

Meanwhile, the "L2P" program that is currently in its pilot phase recognises that holding a driver's licence is a key barrier to employment for regional job seekers.

As part of this program, learner drivers receive support from volunteer driving mentors to meet the 75 hours of driving time required to qualify for their provisional licence.

Success in acquiring a provisional licence opens up employment opportunities that may otherwise be unattainable.

Some of our region's most disadvantaged job seekers are being connected with the workforce thanks to the outstanding success of the Jobs 4 Murraylands program.

The three-month program includes tailored training designed to meet industry needs, mentoring and support to connect participants to job opportunities and personal development workshops to address confidence, motivation and self-esteem.

These programs are changing lives, building the capability of our job seekers and future leaders while connecting businesses directly with job ready employees.

If you would like more information about these programs or would benefit from free, confidential and personalised support to grow your career or business phone 8535 7170 or visit 137 Adelaide Road, Murray Bridge.

Leonie Boothby,

Acting chief executive officer, Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland

Leonie Boothby

Leonie Boothby