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Recruitment specialist backs job hot spot claims

JP SMITH Recruitment and HR director Jamie Smith agrees with a Suncorp Bank report lauding Toowoomba as the nation's employment hotspot.

But he has remained realistic about the region's employment situation, offering insight into the factors which can hinder Toowoomba's jobseekers as they try to get their careers going.

Mr Smith said it was generally not difficult to find work for skilled people in Toowoomba.

"However, it is fair to say that Toowoomba salaries are significantly lower than Brisbane salaries for professionals," Mr Smith said.

"Sometimes, up to 30 per cent lower.

"This can make it difficult to attract talent to the area."

His company spent a lot of time dealing with people from outside the region wanting to find work in Toowoomba.

"There are those within Australia who are looking to make that tree change, as opposed to sea change and are wanting to bring their career to Toowoomba but also have a family friendly atmosphere.

"We get a lot of enquiries from people in the accounting and legal professions as well as engineering in this regard.

"The other category is those people from outside of Australia who are wanting to get here.

"A very broad range of people apply but unfortunately, due to immigration rules, it is very difficult to get them in."

He said employment in oil and gas developments to Toowoomba's west was complimented by jobs in the agriculture sector.

Despite this, he suspected people who lacked professional skills had probably found it harder to gain employment in the past few years.

"A number of the large industries have closed down or are in the process of closing down including KR and the foundry.

"There have also been slowdowns in other industries due to the high Australian dollar which has had a direct impact on businesses that export.

"However, semi skilled and professional people continue to find good, solid opportunities in the region and I believe it has probably become easier due to the growth in Toowoomba and its new-found diversity.

"There is no doubt that Toowoomba is a thriving economy that, in general, doesn't have the peaks or troughs of a metropolitan area.

"Rather, it just steadily but solidly increases in prosperity."

Topics:  suncorp bank, toowoomba



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