News : Corporate Office Supplies Business to Establish Call Centre in Townsville
Melbourne, Australia, Dec 14, 2016 -- An office supplies business is riding the State Government’s $100 million Back to Work package and Townsville’s high unemployment to establish a national sales centre in the city.
The centre initially will provide 30 jobs but the company claims it could support up to 300 positions if the venture is successful.
The business will trade as a company called Strantics, associated with Melbourne-based Corporate Office Supplies which operates in Australia, New Zealand and internationally including the United States.
Corporate Office Supplies president and CEO James Murray visited the city yesterday to announce the move and prepare to open offices in Northtown in January.
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Mr Murray said the company had already short-listed the first 30 candidates for jobs at the call centre through local job agencies NEATO and Max Employment.
"This will be our national sales office," Mr Murray said. "We looked at Cairns, Rockhampton and Brisbane. We picked Townsville out of all the places (because) it was the most motivated to get the deal done and you need jobs.
"Unemployment here is 11 per cent and for people aged 16 to 24 it is 22 per cent."
Mr Murray said the Government’s Back to Work package was a big incentive to establish in the city and would subsidise training costs.
Under the package, eligible employees attract an employer support payment of $10,000, increasing to $15,000 for employees unemployed for a year or more. Employers hiring a young jobseekers aged 15-24 between this month and February 28, 2017, may also be eligible for a Youth Boost payment of up to $20,000.
"At the moment the Government is supporting it," Mr Murray said.
Colliers International Townsville agent Neville Smith said the call centre would provide a welcome boost to the CBD and Northtown. The company has leased a 320sqm office on the centre’s ground floor.
"It’s a clear sign that we have turned the corner with a new business identifying Townsville as a base for this call centre," Mr Smith said.
State Member for Townsville Scott Stewart said there had been a good take up of the Back to Work payments by employers at Townsville.
He said the program was focused on regional areas outside of the southeast corner.
"Townsville is one of those areas with high levels of unemployment and this program is solely focused on getting jobs into these areas," Mr Stewart said. The program will support payments to employers to provide up to 8000 jobs for regions outside southeast Queensland.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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