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Employment opportunities key to the future

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Civil field worker Tarryn Collison-Marsh is encouraging young people to embrace a career in the local government arena.

January 2022 will usher in a new year – and a new career – for 12 trainees, apprentices and graduates as City of Newcastle looks to create employment opportunities as its response to COVID-19.

Council is set to begin recruiting for its annual intake of early career positions this month, with roles available across a range of sectors including business services, customer service, greenkeeping, horticulture, conservation, metal fabrication, carpentry, civil construction and human resources. 

Successful applicants will start work towards the end of January, bringing City of Newcastle’s total number of rookies to 42.

Mr Collison-Marsh, who was among those who made the successful transition into a full-time position, praised the initiative.

He previously gained an apprenticeship in civil construction and road maintenance in January 2019. 

“It not only kick-started my career at City of Newcastle,” the 21-year-old said.

“But, it was also a great stepping stone for a future in the [civil construction] industry.

“I’ve learned many skills that will not only greatly benefit me in my career but also in everyday life, such as greater communication skills and the ability to complete my own projects. 

“This year I started a Diploma in Civil Construction Design.

“So, I hope to continue my work and study options with City of Newcastle to eventually achieve my goal of becoming a civil engineer working on major projects for the Newcastle community.”

As one of the largest employers in the region, City of Newcastle has an important role to play in creating career pathways and ongoing job opportunities, according to Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen.

“COVID-19 has been one of the most challenging periods for local jobseekers, with an economic downturn, rising unemployment levels and the restrictions put in place as part of the lockdown orders,” he said.

“Young people have borne the brunt of these impacts, with youth unemployment levels in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie rising to almost 20% earlier this year, significantly higher than the state average. 

“Supporting and creating local job opportunities continues to be an important part of our response to the pandemic. 

“This includes boosting our 2021/22 works program, which will support the economy and help create new jobs, and forging ahead with our next intake of apprentices, trainees and graduates.”

Mr Clausen said the positions offered a foot in the door that could lead to meaningful employment in the longer term.  

“In the past 12 months we’ve been able to transition 10 of our trainees and apprentices into permanent or ongoing temporary work opportunities with us, with three of these also undertaking further tertiary studies supported by City of Newcastle,” he explained.

“With more than 20 of our current apprentices and trainees under the age of 24, City of Newcastle fosters an environment where young staff can learn from experienced professionals.

“In return these youth employees offer us the passion and enthusiasm that comes with starting a full-time work career.”

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