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Jobless scheme may help drought-hit farmers

By Chrissy Arthur, Tuesday September 10, 2013 - 11:48 EST

An organisation helping jobless people in central-west Queensland says it will look at the possibility of having unemployed people assist drought-affected graziers.

The Remote Area Planning and Development Board has helped to form RAPAD Employment Services Queensland - to deliver skills and training under a federally-funded scheme.

Regional manager Tony Rayner says while most primary producers are not looking to employ workers in the current dry, there may be opportunities for jobless people to help.

"People are fully occupied with the drought at the moment and working their way through that," he said.

He says there will be an element to the program where some jobseekers can do voluntary work.

"We will be working with AgForce and other groups to look at opportunities where we might be able to place some of our jobseekers to assist with some of the drought-feeding programs and jobs like that," he said.

"Most of regional Australia has a small unemployment issue."

He says in the central-west region, unemployment is not excessively high.

"We have a relatively small number of job seekers, but they are scattered across a very large region," he said.

"Backpackers do take up some of the jobs that local jobseekers could do, but it is probably more of a case that we have to make sure that our local jobseekers have the right skills."


- ABC

© ABC 2013

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