City prepares locals for future jobs through ‘New Skills’ Program

07 May 2021

City of Newcastle is helping local businesses gain the skills to make the most of Newcastle’s emerging new economic opportunities with a $385,000 investment in its New Skills Program.

From helping local businesses to embrace the digital age, developing ways to be more accessible or improve energy efficiency, the program aims to address a wide range of industry specific skills gaps over the next two years.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the New Skills Program will provide opportunities for people to learn new skills and innovation which is how we make businesses more competitive and encourage emerging industries which will create more local jobs.

“Newcastle's economy is transforming, and we need to adapt to take advantage of the opportunities,” Cr Nelmes said.

“City of Newcastle’s Economic Development Strategy is responding to the impact of skills gaps in the local workforce by delivering a program that invests in local people to acquire the knowledge and training to participate in the emerging economic opportunities.

“New Skills will assist residents to expand their knowledge and abilities through courses delivered by local organisations to address current and projected skills gaps and strengthen areas of rapid change.”

Deputy Lord Mayor Declan Clausen said New Skills is an extension of the training support funding provided under the City’s $5.5 million Community and Economic Resilience Package that targeted people and industries hardest hit by COVID-19, including young people and tourism sector.

“City of Newcastle has called on businesses to develop training packages that address the skills gap in the local economy, with a range of New Skills programs set to commence later this month,” Cr Clausen said.

“Target areas include identifying how businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors can build a more resilient business model and supporting emerging industries looking to establish in the region.

“Earp Distillery, Got Your Back Sista, Makers and Traders and Newy Rides are just some local organisations that have already benefitted from City of Newcastle’s investment in training programs to develop new products and services.”

This month a workshop series presented by Hunter Regional Business Hub is on offer, designed to upskill local businesses in new technologies to assist them to recover and reinvent themselves.

A Digital Basics for Small Business workshop will be held in Hamilton on May 17, highlighting techniques and tools to improve digital capability and online presence across online channels.

“The course is ideal for people and small business owners wanting to operate a business or new idea in the digital environment as it will explain how customers use the web to search and find what they want,” Digital Advisor Rochelle McLennan said.

“It will provide valuable insights and highlight opportunities to meet customer needs and increase online presence.”