Stockland and Multiplex today officially opened the Stockland Green Hills Connectivity Centre, an innovative initiative to match local job seekers with employment opportunities resulting from the $372 million Green Hills shopping centre redevelopment now underway.

The Stockland Green Hills Connectivity Centre is a whole-of-community response to the high level of local unemployment in the Hunter, particularly among young people. For the first time in the Hunter region, jobactive providers, led by youth not-for-profit yourtown, along with Maitland City Council, local employers and community groups, have come together to support and assist those most disadvantaged by unemployment, linking them to job opportunities generated by the redevelopment.

David Ghannoum, Regional Managing Director Multiplex and John Schroder, Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property, were today joined by Maitland Mayor, Councillor Peter Blackmore OAM, New South Wales Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy, the Hon. Anthony Roberts MP, together with NSW Minister for Regional Development, Skills and Small Business, the Hon. John Barilaro MP, to officially open the centre.

Due for completion in mid-2018, the Stockland Green Hills redevelopment will generate more than 1,350 direct jobs during construction and over 1,250 permanent, full time jobs in retail and hospitality once completed.

Maitland Mayor, Cr Peter Blackmore OAM, said: “The Connectivity Centre is an exciting initiative for our community and the surrounding region, and I am delighted Council on behalf of the community is supporting it. I am pleased to see the focus on connecting young people in Maitland to the new jobs the Green Hills development is creating, and equipping them with skills for the future.”

David Ghannoum, Regional Managing Director NSW & ACT, Multiplex, said the Connectivity Centre was many years in the making and followed extensive discussions with the community about what kind of assistance was most valued.

“The result is that this is a genuine response to a genuine need,” he said. “We know unemployment is a major issue for local youth and we know that access to quality candidates and vacancies is a constant challenge for jobactive providers. This is a real effort to bridge the gap between the two and to create benefits for all involved.”

The centre will provide a space for candidate screening, training and job-matching to support the employment of local people in construction and retail jobs. It will also host programs designed to instil vocational skills, build confidence and provide exposure to business culture and mentoring.

John Schroder, Stockland Group Executive and CEO of Commercial Property, said: “The launch of this connectivity centre today, is another mark of our commitment to the region and investment in Maitland. We’re really pleased to be creating thousands of new jobs, both throughout construction and into the future with the expansion of Stockland Green Hills.

“The new Connectivity Centre is not just about finding jobs for now, but providing the skills for later. We want to ensure we are helping people in this region be job ready for years to come and look forward to working together with our partners to create the pathways and training to make this happen.”

The Stockland Green Hills Connectivity Centre is located next to the Stockland Green Hills construction site at 4 Molly Morgan Drive. The centre has been built by Stockland and Multiplex with site sub-contractors donating the fit out. Youth charity partner yourtown will manage the centre on site.

The redevelopment of Stockland Green Hills is expected to be complete by April 2018. It will more than double in size to around 70,000 square metres and will feature the first new format David Jones department store in the Hunter, and around 225 specialty shops with a vibrant new dining and entertainment precinct that will be the biggest and best in the region.

Employers interested to partner with the Connectivity Centre and job seekers keen to learn more about opportunities on offer should visit the centre between 9am and 5pm or email: [email protected].