MORE than 500 people passed through the doors of the Dapto Ribbonwood Centre last week in the hope the Illawarra Jobs Expo would put them on the pathway to work.
Partly funded by the Illawarra Region Innovation and Investment Fund (IRIIF), a government assistance package designed to help the region after downsizing by Bluescope, the expo featured a number of businesses from across the region showcasing a range of different employment and training opportunities.
‘‘There are more than 300 jobs and apprenticeships on offer here today and we know these expos are a great way to help people find work,’’ Throsby MP Stephen Jones said.
‘‘We had a similar expo in Wollongong in 2010 that saw 500 people find work.’’
‘‘What the IRIIF was designed to do was not specifically find jobs for those who were laid off by Bluescope, as many of them were skilled workers, but to help the Illawarra economy diversify itself and we can see that here today with the range of jobs on offer – printing, tourism, aged care and IT.’’
While a number of businesses at the expo had positions to fill, finding people employment on the day wasn’t its sole aim.
‘‘We probably had 500 to 600 people come through who
are mixture of long-term unemployed, underemployed and people just looking for a different job,’’ Department of Employment Illawarra local employment co-ordinator Jane Robinson said.
‘‘A lot of the people who came along today did so with their resumes in hand and hopefully they might have found a job.
‘‘For other people it’s about getting them back in the job hunt or starting the recruitment process.’’