It’s not often that you see ground-breaking technology heartily embraced by an entire community but that’s exactly what’s happening in the regional area of Port Stephens in New South Wales.
A new jobs platform has been launched in Port Stephens using mobile technology to connect local jobseekers with businesses and to create employment and job opportunities in the area.
Utilising world-first mobile technology developed in Australia by Sydney-based company, Workible, this program reduces the complexity of distance and awareness and significantly reduces both costs and time for businesses looking to hire. And for job seekers, it makes knowing about local jobs easy, regardless of where they are.
The community jobs program creates a single connection point for all job seekers in the region to be able to connect with the employers who need them.
Workible Co-Founder, Fiona Anson, says that one of the biggest challenges for a regional community is to adequately cater for the employment needs of the public.
“Students, working mums, long-term unemployed as well as everyday residents are always on the lookout for great jobs that suits their needs,” Fiona said.
“Employers, too, are looking for great people – but connecting the two can be a challenge especially for a community as far spread as Port Stephens.”
“There are 42 suburbs spread across 979 square kilometres in Port Stephens, so how does a business in Nelson Bay find the right job seeker when they may live in Raymond Terrace?”
“Most employers make do with a scattergun approach of newspaper ads, mainstream job boards, asking friends and families and signs in store windows but all of this amounts to a time consuming and costly process that often delivers less than stellar results.”
Using Workible, Port Stephens jobseekers can join the Port Stephens Community Shortlist to find work in the community. By registering on this Shortlist, jobseekers will be alerted to job opportunities across the whole area that match their availability, skills and interests the instant they become available – and all directly to their smartphones. And employers will have access to this on-tap talent pool of active candidates anytime, anywhere.
“Now, when that Nelson Bay business needs to find staff, they can post the opportunity in less than a minute and instantly notify all of the local and other candidates that match their needs, like that perfect job seeker in Raymond Terrace. They can even video interview them to save them travel time until they know they’re perfect for the job,” Fiona continued.
“Workible’s ability to match an employer’s needs of skill, experience, qualification as well as availability is a huge time saver for both employers and jobseekers, especially as many businesses like those in the retail, hospitality and supply chain industries require people for varying shifts.”
The app makes it possible to connect around those needs and is ideal for young jobseekers who are needing to work around school, college or uni or working parents or carers needing to work around their family obligations.
The Port Stephens Community Job Program will include all parts of the community from school leavers to TAFE and Uni students, long term unemployed, disadvantaged people like disabled and indigenous through to working parents and mature-aged workers.
Some of these people come with substantial benefits to any employer hiring them such as wage subsidies, training support, apprenticeship support and these benefits may be available to a wide range of job seekers.
“From a Council perspective, we’re thrilled to see regional partners collaborating to connect a community around employment with homegrown leading edge technology,” Port Stephens Council Economic Development Manager, Andrew Powrie, said.
“The ability for our community businesses and residents to connect on mobiles is not only appealing but will become the way things are done in the future.”
The program is a first for regional Australia, however other areas including Newcastle and the rest of the Hunter will be launched soon after Port Stephens with other areas of Australia to come.