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Lack of jobs claim rejected

Monday, 24 July 2006

EMPLOYMENT agencies have rejected claims that there is a lack of jobs in Armidale.

The problem is not a lack of employment opportunities, they say, rather a lack of people with the skills employers are looking for.

The issue was raised following a visit to Armidale earlier this month by representatives from Unions NSW as part of the 'Your Rights At Work' bus tour.

Unions NSW reported that:

"Local residents explained that a lack of employment opportunities was a big problem in Armidale and a factor that significantly reduced the bargaining power of workers in the town.

"One resident seeking employment explained that in one instance their had been 600 applicants for just 21 positions."

Armidale site leader for BEST Employment Ltd, Annette Bugden, rejected the claim.

"In our experience there is not a lack of employment opportunities in Armidale - more a lack of jobseekers with the skills required by employers," she said.

"Today there are 58 jobs listed on the Australian Jobsearch website for Armidale.

"Many of these jobs are for qualified people - obviously there is a shortage here."

Ms Bugden said that having 600 applicants for 21 positions was ‘quite feasible, depending on the jobs.'

"We have had one position for an employment services officer here in our office and we have had more than 70 applications for that," she said.

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