Stepping up the job search
STEPS Employment Solutions officially opened on Wednesday last week with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and local businesses and community organisations welcoming the new employment service to the region.
The official office opening was the eighth in Queensland for the disability employment service provider.
The agency's focus in Gympie will be helping people with a mental illness to find work.
STEPS managing director Carmel Crouch said the move to a mental health specific model for employment services was part of the holistic approach to recovery for people experiencing mental illness.
"Over the last few years it has become more and more evident that jobseekers with mental health issues have different requirements when it comes to supporting them into work," Ms Crouch said.
"There is still so much stigma attached to mental illness. We want to work with local businesses to break down perceptions about mental illness and convince employers that mental illness doesn't stop employees from doing a great job".
The agency is determined to make a dent into Gympie's unemployment rate which is currently 4% higher than the state average.
Ms Crouch said that in just a short time STEPS have been successful in helping 75% of their clients find local jobs.
"We're thrilled to have helped so many people find work already, we're hoping we can really make a difference in people's lives and we know finding meaningful employment can do that".