Geraldton’s first jobs fair attracts scores of young people desperate for employment

Phoebe PinGeraldton Guardian
Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price at the jobs fair
Camera IconFederal Member for Durack Melissa Price at the jobs fair Credit: Geraldton Guardian

More than 500 local roles and 50 apprenticeships were on offer at Geraldton’s first jobs fair this week.

Hosted by the Mid West Chamber of Commerce and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, Wednesday’s event aimed to connect jobseekers with employers eager to fill vacant positions.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services Luke Howarth, right, said the event was particularly targeted at young people who were struggling to find work.

“Because younger people don’t have as much experience, they might not have as many skills, so it can be more difficult for them to get work,” he said.

Mr Howarth said developing professional contacts was the key to securing a job, and encouraged young people to embrace work experience opportunities.

“If you are already employed and you can start to build your contacts up, then it is easier to find the skilled jobs you want,” he said.

“It took me about 40 interviews to get the job I wanted ... you might not get what you want straight away, but if you keep trying you will get there.”

Federal Minister for Durack Melissa Price said some Mid West businesses had expressed concern about being unable to grow because of staff shortages.

“People are trying to grow their business but they can’t because they can’t get employees,” she said.

“There are opportunities they can go for but they are worried about doing that because they don’t have the staff, so hopefully (the jobs fair) will help with that.”

Geraldton 24-year-old Mikayla Matthews said she had been unemployed for years and hoped to find a job in the aged-care sector.

She said a lack of understanding about what employers were looking was a big barrier to gaining work.

“From what I have experienced, we don’t know that we don’t need a certificate to get into these positions because (employers) can help you with that position,” she said.

Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services Luke Howarth
Camera IconAssistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services Luke Howarth Credit: Geraldton Guardian

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