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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Acting Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt
    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Regional businesses urged to grow their staff in 2017

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Acting Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Thursday, December 22, 2016

    Regional businesses urged to grow their staff in 2017

    Acting Premier Curtis Pitt and Employment Minister Grace Grace say Mackay-Whitsunday regional businesses should include hiring new staff as one of their New Year’s resolutions.

    Speaking at an inspection of the Port of Mackay Harbour Road East project, Mr Pitt said the time was right for businesses in Queensland’s regions to consider taking on unemployed locals through the Palaszczuk Government’s $20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost.

    “The new $20,000 grant is available only until the end of February 2017 for employers taking on previously unemployed 15-24 year olds, so employers should act now,” he said.

    “I know that our government is taking no pause, no breather, no rest, and no detour from our firm and fixed focus on generating jobs. That is what we promised. That is what we are delivering.”

    Ms Grace said more than 460 employers across the state had engaged almost 900 employees since the Back to Work initiative started and a further 400 applications were being processed.

    “These figures include 113 new employees taken on by 60 employers in the Mackay-Whitsunday region,” she said.

    “If you’re an employer who is thinking of hiring, get in touch with our local Back to Work team and put yourself in line for a support payment of up to $20,000.

    “Our resolve is clear – we want to drive down regional unemployment and youth unemployment which is why this boost for regional businesses was created.”

    Mr Pitt said the $20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost was just one employment initiative of the Palaszczuk Government.

    He said at last week’s update on the 2016-17 State Budget — the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Review — he had outlined two more initiatives:

    • a $200 million Works for Queensland program supporting local councils undertaking job-creating, maintenance or minor infrastructure projects.
    • a $200 million Jobs and Regional Growth Package incorporating an additional $160 million in new funding on top of the existing $40 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Program for:
    • a $170 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund assisting private sector projects and economic development and employment opportunities in regions with high levels of unemployment,
    • $20 million over two years for the new Made in Queensland program to support Queensland’s manufacturing sector through grants supplementing industry contributions,
    • Local Jobs First — $500,000 to establish roundtables with private sector stakeholders to identify barriers to employing local jobseekers, and
    • $300,000 to establish a statewide Youth Tourism Leaders’ Network as a forum for young people working in tourism to encourage others to choose the sector as a career path.

    Media contact: 0419 945 546