Illawarra business chamber launches 2020 program for Illawarra YES

Today the IllawarraYES (Youth Employment Strategy) program for 2020 was launched in Wollongong by the Hon Gareth Ward MP, Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services.

The Minister was joined by Matt Whiteside, Centre Manager of Stellar, and Adam Zarth, Executive Director of the Illawarra Business Chamber, which was awarded the contract to run the successful program for another 12 months.

This follows the NSW Government’s extension of funding in June 2019, for a further 12 months from September 2019.

“IllawarraYES is all about connecting young people with the training that businesses want and real job opportunities that exist right here in our community,” said Minister Ward.

“As the region’s Parliamentary Secretary I championed this program in an effort to drive down youth unemployment and help give local young people the career path they are looking for. Whilst we have many programs that focus on growing our economy and boosting jobs, this program was all about a specific focus on young people in our community.”

“The Youth Employment Strategy model is a proven success. IllawarraYES has delivered excellent outcomes for young clients and businesses alike which has assisted 180 young clients, engaged 46 new enterprises and brokered 159 new jobs, of which 91 have been secured to date,” said Minister Ward.

“Our work recommences in earnest today to support Illawarra employers in areas of workforce shortages by providing them with pathways to employ young job seekers,” said Mr Zarth.

“We expect to exceed our previous level of success and deliver a program a month throughout 2020.”

“Already, our new IllawarraYES Coordinator, Glenn Fairweather, is well advanced in preparing for IllawarraYES programs across a number of sectors – disability services, trades, office administration, retail, and hospitality. A considerable number of new employment opportunities will be created through this program and our partnerships across the Illawarra’s business community,” said Mr Zarth.

One of the programs currently being coordinated is with Auscontact, the industry association for contact centres throughout Australia. Auscontact, in conjunction with Australian College of Commerce and Management, will be running an IllawarraYES program from February 2020.

Business chamber member Stellar, along with other local contact centres in the region, are looking to utilise IllawarraYES to prepare, train and trial potential employees, with a view to future employment in this growing sector.

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