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Keeping Drought Affected Workers In The Region

29 October 2019 

The Southern Downs Regional Council is partnering with SDIEA and Skilling Workers for Queensland to upskill and employ local residents who are seeking supplementary work due to displacement by drought.

The three organisations have created educational job placements for residents with the intention of retaining our region’s skilled workers.

Fifteen participants are currently employed at Storm King Dam on infrastructure projects and are gaining accreditation for newly acquired skills.

Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Tracy Dobie said that this project, and other similar projects, protect the future of the region in several ways by keeping residents in the region.

“The Southern Downs and Granite Belt are home to a host of primary producers and livestock professionals," said Mayor Dobie.

“During drought or off seasons, it is not uncommon for agricultural workers to require supplementary work, with some seeking this work outside the region.

“Keeping skilled and employable residents within the region is important, not only, because of the benefit these individuals provide to local agricultural and livestock businesses but also local schools, community groups, and our economy.

“Paid educational job placements are an excellent way to retain our region’s experienced workers, while also upskilling our local residents in preparation for upcoming seasons.”

The Southern Downs Regional Council has provided work sites on which to conduct learning and jobs to keep local residents employed within the region, while also offering the opportunity to upskill. The Storm King Dam projects were chosen as the water level of the dam is currently low, allowing for site rehabilitation and improvement.

Seeds from the area will also be gathered, grown, and used in the rehabilitation of the area around the new Emergency Water Infrastructure tanks.

 “Not only is our region retaining residents, but we are assisting those residents to widen their knowledge and skills base,” said Mayor Tracy Dobie.

“When the drought breaks and our agriculture and livestock industries begin to flourish once again, these capable local workers will have enhanced skills to offer their employers.”

The course participants will achieve Spray Accreditations and other pertinent agricultural qualifications, which will be useful when returning to their farm work.

This project has been funded by Skilling Queenslanders for Work (Department of Employment, Small Business and Training.

For more information, please contact Council on 1300 697 372.

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