Press Conference – Jobs Expo, Bankstown


Jobs Expo


11 July 2013

Topics: Jobs Expo; ALP preselections

JASON CLARE: Good morning, thanks for coming along. This is a really simple idea we get local people that are looking for jobs together with local employers. We put them under one tent and we create hundreds of jobs for local people. You could call it a one stop job shop and today we’ve got everything from butchers, to bakers to modern day candle stick makers. There are 500 jobs on offer and hopefully that means more jobs for the people of Bankstown.

I set up the idea of Jobs Expos about 5 years ago when I became the Parliamentary Secretary for Employment during the Global Financial Crisis. Since then 28,000 jobs have been created throughout Australia, in the parts where unemployment is the highest.

We run these Jobs Expos where unemployment is the highest, where it is the toughest to get jobs and we’ve created some fantastic results – 28,000 jobs across the country including thousands here in Western Sydney.

It’s really a fantastic initiative one that I’m really proud of and really pleased to bring it back to Bankstown today to create hundreds of more jobs for my local area.

QUESTION: Is the fact this community is very culturally diverse does that have a lot to do with the high unemployment rate?

JASON CLARE: We do have a high unemployment rate here – it is double the national average. The key to getting a job here is the skills you get when you go to school and english proficiency. If you can speak english well you’ve got a better chance at getting a job. Here in Bankstown if english is your first language your unemployment rate is around 5 per cent, if you can’t speak english your unemployment rate is around 25 per cent. The skill of learning english is critical and that is a key part of what this expo is about – getting people into jobs but also making sure they get the skills they need to get a job and number one there is english language skills.

QUESTION: When you talk to the community about offering this jobs market what did they tell you about what they needs regarding getting a job?

JASON CLARE: Western Sydney has a high unemployment rate, one of the reasons is English language skills another key factor is transport. A lot of the jobs aren’t here in the local area; you have to travel a long distance. Some jobs require you to have a car. If you don’t have a car you can’t get a job so it is about connecting people with jobs. That’s the idea of this Jobs Expo. We are putting all the people looking for jobs under one roof and all people who are looking for a job can see all jobs on offer in the area and find one that is right for them.

QUESTION: How many employers are here today?

JASON CLARE: There are over 50 employers here today offering jobs – everything from cleaners to waitstaff, kitchen hands, electricians – anything you can think of is here under the tent and it is just up to the local community to come inside, talk to the employers and then start work.

QUESTION: How successful has these expos been? Does every job get filled?

JASON CLARE: The record does speak for itself, we have created 28,000 jobs in the last few years through running these across Australia – everywhere from Western Sydney to Western Australia, up to Cairns and back down to Tassie. Not every job is always filled on the day but often people will get the information, they will follow up in the weeks after and that’s how these jobs are filled and that is how we have been able to get 28,000 people into jobs.

QUESTION: The new candidate for Julia Gillard’s seat has been parachuted in to the preselection for Lalor but she is not actually from Melbourne, what is your reaction, don’t you see that as inappropriate?

JASON CLARE: That’s a decision for the people of the Labor Party in the electorate of Lalor. The Prime Minister has said that he wants rank and file preselections wherever possible in those seats that are vacant at the moment. It is a decision for the Labor Party members of Lalor as to who they will select and I wish them all the best.

QUESTION: So have they selected to preselect someone who doesn’t live in the area?

JASON CLARE: They haven’t made a decision yet. They will have a number of candidates who will put their hands up for preselection and it is up to the good people of the Labor Party in Lalor to decide who they think is the best person to represent them in Federal Parliament and preselect them. Then hopefully the people of Lalor will have confidence in that person to elect them as their member in the Federal Parliament.

QUESTION: Do you think it is appropriate in all cases that rank and file Labor members should get a say in preselections?

JASON CLARE: Where possible and the Prime Minister has said that as well. He has said where time permits he would always prefer rank and file preselections. So wherever it is possible to hold a rank and file preselection to select candidates to stand in the Federal Parliament we should do that. I think it is a good idea and that is the intention of the Prime Minister.