Goal: 1000 jobs in 100 days
EMPLOYMENT group NORTEC hopes to put a dent in the NSW North Coast's unemployment rate with the launch of its 2012 1000 jobs in 100 days campaign.
Joblessness is above the national average in the Tweed region, Ballina/Byron, Clarence and Coffs, and even further above the NSW statewide unemployment rate.
NORTEC spokeswoman Michelle Dowding said times were certainly tough for businesses but believed a positive outlook was the key to getting people in to jobs.
"At this time of the year NORTEC likes to throw down the gauntlet and encourage everyone to get behind them in attempting to place a whopping 1000 Northern NSW job seekers into work within 100 days," Ms Dowding said.
Unemployment nationally is at 5.1% and the NSW rate is 4.9%. The rate rises to 5.8% in Tweed and Ballina/Byron and 6.6% in Clarence and the Coffs region.
NORTEC's campaign worked a treat in both 2010 and 2011, with 1000 people placed in jobs between August and November in each of those years.
Business manager employment services Scott Wilson said: "Times are tough for certain industries in our region and we are really feeling the two-speed economy in Northern NSW".
"Keeping skilled workers in our region is also a challenge with many migrating to the mining sector.
"By keeping jobs local we are investing back into the region.
"It will be interesting to see how we go with the target this year but staff here are pumped and we remain positive."
NORTEC, a not-for-profit organisation, likes to "walk the talk" by actively encouraging small business growth in the region. It operates four small business incubator sites in the Northern Rivers, which have the capacity to house more than 50 small businesses.
NORTEC chief executive officer Paul Bennett said supporting local business was "a no-brainer really".
"When you support small businesses to grow that's how you create employment and economic growth for our region," Mr Bennett said.
"By lodging a job vacancy with NORTEC you are supporting a community organisation that supports the community you live in."
Lodging a job vacancy with NORTEC if free year-round, but employers lodging jobs during the 1000 jobs in 100 days campaign will go in to the draw for the chance to win $1000 for the charity of your choice.
For more information, phone NORTEC on 1800 667 832 or visit nortecltd.com.au.