VIDEO: Gladstone business paid $10K to hire local worker
IT WAS a weird, whacky, but wonderful first day in a new job for Lisa Grosser when TV camera, pollies, and journalists gathered to mark the occasion.
The former job seeker, "technically" out of work for seven months, was scrolling through job ads when she spotted the State Government's Back To Work program. She landed a six-month training stint with Gladstone Engineering Alliance and her life took a big turn on Tuesday when she started at Lee Crane Hire.
The hype around Ms Grosser's first day is the success of the program, which has seen $100,000 fall into the pockets of central Queensland employers since it began on July 1.
It's part of the $100million State Government program that hands over $10,000 to businesses who take on a new employee or $15,000 if the employee is classed as long-term unemployed.
Minister for Employment Grace Grace said the deal, tailored for employers and job seekers outside of the south-east corner, was exclusively for the regions.
"This a regionally focused employment package - it is only for regional Queensland," she said. "They don't compete with the south-east corner.
"These payments are giving employers the confidence to take on additional employees, proving much-needed support to our region.
"We understand there are extra challenges in the regions and this program is targeted at those regions."
Ms Grace said the government had divvied out $400,000 to regional Queensland employers and she hoped there was plenty more from where that came from.
"We're hoping this is so successful that I have to go back to the treasurer for more money and if business like this can promote their business, grow their business ... everyone here is a winner," she said.
Ms Grace said once employers such as Lee Crane Hire took the plunge and hired a new employee, it had a domino effect.
"Lisa is now an employee because the Queensland Government has given her access to training and given her employers the confidence to take on another employee," he said.
Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said Lee Crane Hire had ridden the "boom" and, despite tough times, the program had helped it to pick up new employees.
For employers to be eligible for payments in the two-year program, employees need to have started after July 1.