City finds it hard to get professionals

By SAM BENGERsamb@gladstoneobserver.com.au

PROFESSIONALS in Gladstone are becoming as hard to come by as skilled workers, according to local businesses.

Tony Goodwin and Company Solicitors principal Tony Goodwin said it was difficult to attract qualified legal professionals to take up work in Gladstone.

'It has always been difficult to entice professionals out of capital cities ? even if they originated in regional areas, once they travel to cities to obtain their degrees, they become attached to those areas and are reluctant to leave,' he said.

Mr Goodwin said regional universities had considered the option of offering professional degrees, but the need for qualified people to lecture and the demand for courses had meant it was often not viable to offer the programs.

He said due to the transient nature of work in Gladstone, filling professional positions often depended on the availability of work in other areas of the town.

'Usually it happens that a lawyer comes here because their partner is here to work in industry, but that means they are only here for a limited time,' he said.

Mr Goodwin said he believed the greatest problem was not in getting people to come to Gladstone, but in getting them to stay here, for which he did not believe there was a solution.

Manager of recruitment agency Downing Teal, Leonie Hills, said it was becoming more difficult to fill professional positions, particularly in industrial professional streams like engineering.

'In both permanent and project work it's difficult to find professionals in engineering because there is a limited number of candidates, but for things like accounting and business areas there seem to be more available because there are more people with business degrees,' she said.



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