Hundreds battle for few available jobs in Gladstone

IT'S a pretty rough road for Gladstone's job seekers these days.

Hundreds of people, a large majority of them with little in the way of skills or qualifications, are finding they are up against vast numbers of applicants.

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The job market in Gladstone is suffering from a raft of circumstances, many of which are out of the control of the people living in the area.

CQ University professor John Rolfe believes Gladstone's employment woes are not dissimilar to those around central Queensland.

"It's largely the result of the downturn in the resources industry, which has had an effect throughout the whole of central Queensland," he said.

"Add to that the fact that many jobs are now being outsourced to larger centres, and Gladstone's being hit with a double whammy."

He cited recent automation in the retail sector as an example of how the job market had changed.

And he doesn't expect there will be any quick resolution to the problem.

"It's happening everywhere, but it's more noticeable in regional areas. The larger cities still seem to have a lot more positions for lower-skilled workers."

"There's no silver bullet. It's a cyclical thing. We'll probably be close to the bottom end of the cycle for a while yet, and there won't be a rapid change any time soon."

Prof Rolfe said Gladstone benefited hugely from the early stages of construction work on Curtis Island, where a vast number of labouring-type positions were available.

But as the projects have developed that work has dried up, and the employment need has been for highly skilled and specialised people.

"As those projects wind down more and more people will be released into the local workforce, but many will find they will need to travel to find work and they will need to expect to be paid less than they were before."

Gladstone recruitment and employment agencies are feeling the pressure too, with more clientele and little in the way of jobs to offer.

Recruitment agency Addeco yesterday had just one position available - and that was for a mechanical fitter, boilermaker, diesel mechanic.

It was a similar response from labour hire service Skilled.

A company employee said: "Food manufacturing is really the only (industry) that will hire someone on a regular basis."

"For any job we do get a lot of responses."

Tips for getting the job:

  • Network to find out about jobs going and then get your foot in the door
  • Do informational interviews like coffee or lunch
  • Research the company
  • Revise your resume
  • Make a list of work-related skills you'd like to learn
  • Prepare for the job interview with answers to likely questions

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