Being ranked the 6th most liveable city in Australia should be an exciting prospect, but can Wollongong deliver the goods on employment opportunities?

The Property Council of Australia has launched its Make My Wollongong Work campaign today in hopes that the city’s growth will create a demand for 30,000 new jobs by 2036.

Head of Career Central at the University of Wollongong, Martin Smith said that the Council is taking a step forward in regards to employment in the Illawarra.

“Sure it’s a challenge but it can be done, the University and BlueScope for instance are two of the highest employers in the region.”

Martin Smith continued that the university provides training opportunities and workshops to help students with their resumes and interview skills before facing future employers.

But not everyone is convinced that Wollongong Council is doing enough to help unemployed residents find work.

Unemployed Illawarra resident and student Melissa Saville has exhausted all possibilities trying to find a job.

“I don’t have a flexible work schedule for employers to even consider me a candidate for a job,” she said.

With student expenses to cover Melissa Saville has turned to Centrelink for assistance.

“I receive a certain amount from them which helps me for a while but it would be nice to earn it on my own,” she said.

After months of just flipping through newspapers and searching the internet for jobs at Centrelink, Melissa had had enough and opted to stay unemployed.

“They connect you with Mission Australia and MTC but they are limited in what they can do for you,” Melissa said.

The ‘Make My Wollongong Work’ campaign hopes to generate new jobs through economic development in the region.

Words: Nizza Munoz
Pictures: Kayla Osbourne
Video: Hannah Robertson

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