Finding a fulfilling career in regional Queensland may seem a daunting task to school leavers and those finding themselves in the position of a career change, but there’s an employer in nearly every town in the state that offers jobs for everyone from accountants to zoologists—local government.
At a recent careers day hosted by CQ University in Emerald, Year 10 students from Blackwater, Springsure and Emerald had the opportunity to speak with staff from Central Highlands Regional Council about the opportunities for employment in Central Queensland.
Council’s CEO Scott Mason said local government had a lot to offer young people without them needing to head off to the city.
‘Councils have traditionally felt they had a responsibility to be an employer of choice within their community and it’s not unusual to find successive generations of families working for us, particularly in the more remote regions and smaller townships.
‘We offer work experience, traineeships, apprenticeships and entry level positions that don’t require qualifications.
‘Generally we take between 10 and 20 trainees and apprentices every year—in 2015 it was eight and currently we have 10 working towards certificate qualifications in horticulture, digital media and technology, engineering, water industry operations and civil construction.
‘Our competitors in the workforce come from the resource and building sectors, but neither can offer what we can—more than 400 occupations and career stability that’s transferable throughout Australia,’ he said.
‘Once you’re employed by us we want to keep you, so we offer opportunities like further training courses, study leave and attendance at conferences and forums to network with people throughout the country in a similar job.’
Council’s Training and Development Officer Paul Turner said the pathway to a career in local government is exciting and students are welcome to speak with anyone in the council about their jobs and seek career advice without waiting for an annual careers day.
‘My suggestion is to keep an eye on the careers section of our website or telephone 1300 242 686 and make an appointment to speak with me,’ he offered.