Growing jobs and regional pride in Northern Tasmania

RDA Tasmania’s work with the Northern Employment and Business Hub shows how early project support and funding can grow into region changing programs.

Bell Bay is Tasmania’s largest industrial zone, located on the Tamar River in Northern Tasmania it is responsible for 59 per cent of the state’s manufactured goods exported. The Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone (BBAMZ) is an independent economic development group. Its aim is to lift the profile of Bell Bay locally, nationally and internationally, while building a sense of community pride in the region.

BBAMZ evolved from Bell Bay Aluminium’s existing community consultative committee. In 2015, with RDA Tasmania’s support, economic development knowledge and experience, the committee re-formed as BBAMZ.

Map showing the 8 regional jobs hubs across Tasmania
There are 8 regional jobs hubs across Tasmania. NEBHub provides services to northern Tasmania and Flinders Island (purple shading) Image Credit: Jobs Tasmania

In 2017, BBAMZ was looking at ways to address staff shortages and increase local employment opportunities in the region. However, the entity was ineligible for direct funding. RDA Tasmania stepped in to auspice a $360,000 grant from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) to employ a Workforce Development Facilitator. This role provided a place-based, personalised outreach service for job seekers and businesses.

Fast forward 5 years to 2023, and this single facilitator role at BBAMZ has grown into a standalone entity with multiple employees. This is now known as the Northern Employment and Business Hub (NEBHub). The Tasmanian Government funds NEBHub to continue to match job seekers and industry needs across northern Tasmania.

NEBHub provides outreach services to all communities within the West Tamar, George Town, Launceston, Meander Valley, Flinders Island and Northern Midlands municipalities. This involves regular meetings with businesses across a range of industries such as hospitality and tourism, agriculture, health and aged care, manufacturing, and construction.

Since its inception in September 2020 to August 2023, NEBHub has supported 424 people into employment. This engagement has been across a range of industries representing more than 1,500 employers. In addition, NEBHub facilitates industry responsive training, and runs jobs expos encouraging students and job seekers to consider career pathways in local industries.

RDA Impact

NEBHub continues to deliver positive employment outcomes for Northern Tasmania, by attracting significant additional funding for expansion of services and a larger footprint into the surrounding regions. The Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) grant that established NEBHub was only available to BBAMZ through its partnership with RDA Tasmania.  

RDA Tasmania leveraged its role as a key regional stakeholder to facilitate the early stage of organisational formation and seed funding.

The initial $360,000 TCF grant enabled BBAMZ to create a single Workforce Development Facilitator.

In 2021, NEBHub received an additional $2 million from the Tasmanian Government. This funding has allowed NEBHub to further expand its services and become part of the Tasmanian Government’s Regional Jobs Hub. This network of 8 hubs links jobseekers with employers, helping to address high regional unemployment rates and delivering businesses the workforce they need.

Learn more

Screenshot of the NebHub homepage www.nebhub.com.au
Graph showing the range of industries NebHub has assisted in finding employees between September 2020 and April 2023

 

Published 1/12/2023