STOKED: Nat Mallory at Rick's Garage in Palmwoods is loving her role at the popular venue.
STOKED: Nat Mallory at Rick's Garage in Palmwoods is loving her role at the popular venue. Patrick Woods

Why it's easier than ever to get a job on the Sunshine Coast

THE Sunshine Coast is officially back to work.

Latest figures show our unemployment rate has dropped well below the national average while a blow was landed in the fight to turn around our youth unemployment rate.

On the back of big-ticket projects on the horizon, the Daily's recent regional employment campaign and more diversity in the jobs market the youth unemployment rate dropped more than 3% in the 12 months to July this year to 9.3%.

What's your current work situation?

This poll ended on 10 September 2016.

Current Results

I've currently got a job.

34%

I'm unemployed and am looking for work.

34%

I'm unemployed but have given up looking for work because there's no jobs.

31%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

East Coast HR managing director and Sunshine Coast Business Women's Network's Michalle Faulkner said her recruitment company had been "quite steady" of late and while they hadn't noticed a significant increase in business, she had noticed a greater diversity of roles becoming available.

"It used to be general admin across the board," she said.

Speech pathology, caravan installing and commerce were just a few of the roles she rattled off, explaining it appeared a wider spread of industries were starting to recover and were now looking to grow.

"Certainly the Coast seems to be buoyed by a lot of progression we've got happening at the moment," Ms Faulkner said.

"It's still a very competitive market place out there for job seekers."

Sunshine Coast mayor Mark Jamieson said the figures were "great news" for the community, but they were not happening by accident.

"This is why the Sunshine Coast has a clear economic plan in place, one which Council is driving hard to create jobs, opportunity and prosperity," he said.

Cr Jamieson said the Regional Economic Development Strategy combined with the "pipeline of projects" coming out of the ground in the region would continue to drive "more enduring jobs".

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data released last month showed the Sunshine Coast's youth unemployment rate had dropped from 12.4% in July 2015 to 9.3% in July 2016, the sixth-biggest reduction in Queensland.

As of July this year an extra 3300 people had gained employment, driving the Coast's unemployment rate down by 2% to 4.8%, comfortably below the national average of 5.7%.

Rick's Garage and Diner co-owner Ben Jamieson is one of those responsible for the change of fortune for our young job seekers aged between 15 and 24.

He said he had a team of almost 50 employed at-present and nearly all fell within the youth bracket.

"I've got a team of 48 at the moment and all are under the age of... 26 would probably be our oldest employee," Mr Jamieson said.

Rick's Garage and Diner supervisor Natalie Mallory started working at the Palmwoods eatery about three months ago.

The 24-year-old was studying at university and was glad to have locked in work post-uni, noting there wasn't many opportunities when she was looking.

She said she took a punt, went in to the diner and asked if they were hiring and luckily struck gold.

"I went from a casual and now I'm a full-time supervisor," Ms Mallory said.

She said she was quite happy in the hospitality industry and was enjoying working in an environment where young people were welcomed in and were able to gain valuable workplace experience.

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said it was encouraging to see youth unemployment drop in some regional centres and reiterated his commitment to further job creation across Queensland.



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