Multiplex yesterday launched a new Connectivity Centre to support the $835 million John Hunter Health and Innovation Precinct (JHHIP), its 14th Connectivity Centre to date and its third in the Hunter.
Multiplex was joined by The Hon. Taylor Martin MLC; Acting Executive General Manager of John Hunter Hospital Julie Tate; and representatives from Health Infrastructure and Hunter New England Local Health District to officially open the Centre, located at Broadmeadow.
The Multiplex Connectivity Centre will connect local job seekers with employment opportunities arising from the JHHIP and provide wrap-around support services for those seeking employment and needing assistance.
“This is a unique space for job seekers, specialist employment providers and community groups to come together to co-design their own training, employment and support solutions,” said Multiplex Regional Managing Director David Ghannoum.
“Job seekers need access to sustainable job opportunities and job providers need help connecting with good employers. Our Connectivity Centre bridges that gap by collaborating across sectors and focusing on holistic and sustainable outcomes.”
The Multiplex Connectivity Centre supporting the JHHIP will offer job support services, trainee and apprenticeships, business mentoring, and networking opportunities, with a particular emphasis on engaging with disability groups, youth at risk, the long-term unemployed, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander groups.
“Multiplex Connectivity Centres provide a unique backbone support structure to facilitate social procurement opportunities for Multiplex’s supply chain,” said Mr Ghannoum.
“Employment is the driver, but the ultimate goal is to support people to become self-sufficient and improve outcomes across a whole range of areas such as health and wellbeing, confidence and creativity.”
The Connectivity Centre is already having an impact, having partnered with John Hunter Hospital, Kurri Kurri Community Centre and Hunter Futurepreneurs to deliver the Collaboration Through Arts initiative.
The initiative bought together five local Indigenous artists for a 6-week program of creative and business workshops. One of the outcomes was a collaborative master artwork which has been transposed onto fencing surrounding the JHHIP construction site.
“The arts initiative has encouraged participants to communicate their ideas and cultural identity through art and given them the skills and networks to be able to commercialise their talents, “said Mr Ghannoum.
“It was a highly collaborative program with participants ranging in age from 17 to early 50s, and all going on to pursue additional studies, employment or mentoring.”
The new Multiplex Connectivity Centre is the third in the Hunter region, following successful centres at the Stockland Green Hills and Maitland Hospital projects, and the 14th to be established in NSW and Victoria.
“We know our Connectivity Centres are having an impact – not just on employment but also things like mental health and wellbeing, skills and knowledge, and social interactions. In that way it’s building community resilience too,” said Mr Ghannoum.
“This is not a set and forget scenario. We take seriously our role in creating positive social outcomes in the communities we work in and look forward to continuing that legacy in the Hunter.”