Gippsland Employment Facilitator, and former MAX Employment regional manager, Luke Arber, will continue assisting job seekers across the Gippsland region following an extension to the existing Employment Facilitator services on 1 July 2021.
“Providing opportunities for locals to upskill and retrain ensures a strong workforce in our region,” said Luke.
“This extension means that I will continue to work with organisations across Gippsland to identify labour market challenges while creating and coordinating employment opportunities for local job seekers.
I look forward to continuing to deliver the Local Jobs Program in Gippsland and welcome the opportunity to meet with industry and employers."
Luke transitioned to his current role in June 2017, following two successful years as the MAX Employment Gippsland Regional Manager.
He has almost 20 years’ experience delivering a range of employment services including jobactive and Disability Employment Services (DES) – at local and regional levels.
According to the current Gippsland Local Jobs Plan, there are several key challenges in the region, including equipping an ageing population with the knowledge and skills to remain in the workforce.
Gippsland also has the highest rate of youth disengagement of all Victorian regions (19.1 percent) for people aged between 18 and 24, which, unsurprisingly, has led to a rising youth unemployment rate in the area.
These challenges are compounded by the current COVID-19 pandemic in addition to the unprecedented bushfires that East Gippsland experienced during the summer of 2019/20. Both disasters have had a negative impact on the tourism and hospitality sectors in the region, as well as the local forestry industry.
Local MP Darren Chester praised Luke for his ongoing work in the community and emphasised that his role was more critical than ever.
“Luke will continue his great work in identifying gaps in our workforce and create suitable training and employment opportunities,” Mr Chester said.
“Throughout Gippsland there have been many challenges with the closure of Hazelwood Power Station, drought, bushfires, and COVID-19 leading to unemployment and gaps in the workforce.
This tailored approach will ensure job seekers in Gippsland are skilled in relevant fields of workforce shortage.”
Luke has coordinated the delivery of 11 Regional Employment Trial Programs across Gippsland, some hosted by MAX Employment, through which 300 jobseekers participated in local projects. In addition, there are two projects currently underway funded by the Local Recovery Fund in the wake of the bushfires and COVID-19.
Luke is currently assisting more than 14,000 job seekers in the Gippsland region.
The team at MAX are excited to support Luke and continue to be part of the local economic recovery for Gippsland.