Ms Simpson said more than 500 food and beverage producers on the Coast were sponsoring labour from other countries because of the lack of interest in the local unemployment sector.
Ms Simpson said more than 500 food and beverage producers on the Coast were sponsoring labour from other countries because of the lack of interest in the local unemployment sector. Contributed

Mining industry not key to jobs

DESPITE the Sunshine Coast Council's push for jobs in the resource industry, a leading recruitment agency says it was not the answer to unemployment

New Staff Solutions director Peta Simpson said tourism, agriculture and small business were the key to tackling the Coast's unemployment rates, as well as boosting the economy on a locally.

"The Sunshine Coast employs most people in retail, construction and health care - industries that recently have taken a hit," Ms Simpson said.

"As a region, we are yet to take full advantage of our geography for job creation.

"We could be growing our local economy instead of chasing down new industries."

Ms Simpson said more than 500 food and beverage producers on the Coast were sponsoring labour from other countries because of the lack of interest in the local unemployment sector.

"In August, 2010, the agricultural sector employed more than eight times as many people as the mining sector yet our primary producers largely report that they struggle to find local labour and are forced to sponsor overseas labour to ensure a successful harvest," she said.

"Imagine a Sunshine Coast that embraced its growers and encouraged value-adding. We could take pride in our sustainability and capacity to feed ourselves."

She said Coast interest for day-trippers, national and international business events, international tourism and education would also be key to the creation of future jobs.

"We are a world-class destination, it's time we thought like one," she said.

"We need to focus on what we do have, what we can boast about and further develop our natural advantage."



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