Learning, the key to future jobs for residents

A shifting employment landscape means Macedon Ranges and Sunbury residents need to prepare themselves to commit to lifetime learning, experts say ahead of this week’s free Sunbury and Gisborne Careers and Jobs Expo.

Among the exhibitors is Macedon Ranges Further Education Centre’s Carol Francheschi, who said people could protect themselves and bounce back from workforce changes by taking opportunities to upskill or retrain.

Ms Francheschi said while the move to a globalised economy and rapid technological growth had disrupted many industries, including manufacturing, in Melbourne’s north-west, it had also created opportunities.

“The great thing these days is there’s not one way,” she said.

“Of course, there are challenges with traditional jobs that aren’t always there any more, but it’s also no longer one size fits all, especially when it comes to education.

“If you’re looking at changing career or you’re looking at changing work, or you’re a student who’s looking at what your future options are, you really don’t have to go far to do it.”

Unemployment in the north-west, including Sunbury and Gisborne, is at 5.8 per cent.

Youth unemployment is 13.6 per cent.

Ms Francheschi said the expo, which includes exhibitors from job agencies and universities as well as industry groups and employers, was a great chance to show the range of employment and training options available either locally or online.

“The great thing is it is independent; it’s not run by an organisation with a barrow to push,” she said.

Organising committee chairman Huon Damm said there had been a 10 per cent increase in exhibitors at this year’s expo.

Last year’s event attracted more than 1000 people.

Like Ms Francheschi, Mr Damm said there were solid opportunities for people who knew where to look.

“In the north-west, with all the growth, construction is a big one. That’s why we’ve got organisations like HIA (Housing Industry Association) involved,” he said.

“There’s also opportunities in things like retail and aged care.”

Wednesday’s expo is at Sunbury Memorial Hall from 2-5.30pm.

Details: email wendy.m@hwllen.com.au