Tamworth's Joblink Plus drive for new business

Former government trade and investment officer Chris Celovic has been appointed to help a new strategic expansion and drive for new business for the skills training and employment agency Joblink Plus. 

Joblink chief executive officer Chris Sheppeard described Mr Celovic’s appointment as education and enterprises unit senior manager as critical to the start of a push to take the organisation to a new level.

Joblink Plus has operated as a Tamworth-based, registered charity for more than 35 years and has been known since 1998 under its current name and now operates 38 sites with nearly 300 staff.

Mr Sheppeard said until now the organisation had relied on federal government funding through competitive contract arrangements. 

“While funding has enabled us to ensure we deliver quality services to the community, tightening of these funding arrangements and some of the prescriptive delivery requirements no longer allow us to deliver the holistic solutions required in the communities in which we operate,” he said.

As a result, Joblink Plus was expanding the training business and establishing social enterprises to enable disadvantaged people to gain the skills and work habits required for long-term employment and social participation. 

“This is about taking our destiny into our own hands, and while government funding will always form a big part of our revenue, we will now have the flexibility to deliver programs that are self-sufficient and not at risk of being reliant on changes to government funding decisions,” he said.

He said Mr Celovic broughtextensive experience in vocational education and training to the organisation, having worked for many years with NSW TAFE and CSR in Tumut. 

He had also worked in China, implementing vocational and educational training in a partnership between the Australian and Chinese governments, and more recently, had worked for the NSW Department of Trade and Investment.

Mr Celovic believes his existing relationships in education and training and with the broader NSW business community will assist him in his new role.

“I have watched Joblink Plus grow and prosper since moving to Tamworth in 1996,” he said. 

“Joblink Plus has designed this role to take advantage of the ever-changing vocational education and training landscape in NSW and the opportunities this offers for jobseekers and adult learners.”

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