Workers wanted in Gympie
FLYING in the face of the Gympie Region's high unemployment rate is local business CPM Engineering, which has been trying to hire staff for months.
Owner Jason McPherson said he was advertising for 15 more boilermakers and fitters and three project managers to keep up with workloads.
The mining boom has allowed CPM Engineering to defy the downward trend.
They are busy shipping products for mining companies all over the nation.
But there could be more jobs in Gympie, Mr McPherson said, if the government backed business instead of placing extra costs on development.
He said there was a deal in the pipeline that could bring an extra 200 jobs to Gympie.
But securing cost-effective industrial land was the key to closing that deal.
Creating more jobs in the Gympie Region would be as easy as making it simple for industry to move here, he said.
Mr McPherson said that was difficult when it cost businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars in contributions to expand or bring their workshops to the region.
The deal he was working on, which would see extra jobs in Gympie, involved pre-assembling drilling rigs for mining companies.
"There would be upwards of 200 jobs in Gympie," he said.
Holding that deal up was cost-effective industrial land.
Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed Wide Bay Burnett had the nation's highest unemployment rate at 12.3% last month.
In a bid to combat unemployment in the region, CPM engineering was working with Keba Engineering, Widgee Welding and Gympie Welding Works to try to keep jobs in the Gympie Region.
"We are working together with Blackwoods to try and keep work in town," Mr McPherson said.
Projects were shared between the four businesses' 200 staff.
"But we need more structure and industry to come to town," he said.
"We need more tradesmen now and we are working closely with the local TAFE."
With 60 staff and 11 apprentices CPM Engineering was also looking to employ another five learners, but the cost of legislation such as WorkCover contributions was making it hard to justify the extra workers.
"Unemployment figures remain ridiculously high ... to do anything about unemployment we need industry in town," he said.
"It won't come with the added costs put on business."
There would be upwards of 200 jobs in Gympie.