Taking a gap year? Think Sunshine Coast
  • Wednesday 06 April 2022
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It’s no secret the Sunshine Coast is a great place to holiday and live, but a gap year in the region could also help young people kickstart their careers, have fun and create new life experiences.

Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said council, in collaboration with Visit Sunshine Coast and the Queensland Government, had developed the Gap Year Sunshine Coast initiative as a one-stop-shop for making a gap year in the region a reality.

“The COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the way we live, work and travel and young people from the Sunshine Coast and from right across the country who have had their plans disrupted might like to consider taking a gap year on the Sunshine Coast – it could be their pathway to a great lifestyle, a job right now and a career later,” Mayor Jamieson said.

“We have more than 3,700 businesses operating in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors on the Sunshine Coast and many of them need staff right now.

“The Sunshine Coast continues to be a magnet for big thinkers, experienced leaders and world-class talent and as our region continues to grow, we need to ensure we have the right workforce to continue to meet the needs of our community and its visitors.

“The tourism industry continues to be a significant contributor to the Sunshine Coast economy and has flow-on effects to so many other sectors including hospitality, retail, arts and food and agribusiness.

“A strong and reliable workforce is crucial to ensuring local businesses can continue to grow, employ and prosper.”

Visit Sunshine Coast CEO Matt Stoeckel said with everything the region had to offer, there had never been a better time to do a gap year on the Sunshine Coast.

“The region boasts exquisite beaches, sprawling hinterland, cultural attractions and a café lifestyle that we know will appeal to young job seekers across Australia who have been considering a gap year in 2022,” Mr Stoeckel said. 

“We also know that our entertainment and nightlife options such as the Ocean Street Precinct in Maroochydore, the NightQuarter eat street market in Birtinya, or The Wharf precinct in Mooloolaba all contribute to providing an enviable gap year option.

“Plus they can do this all without the expense of travelling overseas.

“With the tourism industry in full recovery mode there are such fantastic job opportunities available at our world-class tourism businesses and I encourage all job seekers to come and gap year here this year.”

Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said Gap Year Sunshine Coast would expand the Sunshine Coast’s search for great tourism staff.

“Bringing more workers on board is important for tourism operators to meet growing visitor demand for world-class Sunshine Coast holiday experiences,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“We know industries around the country want workers but the Sunshine Coast’s beach and hinterland lifestyle definitely has gap year appeal.  

“Filling tourism jobs and rebuilding capacity is crucial to the industry’s economic recovery.

“Gap Year Sunshine Coast gives young Australians a one-stop-shop to connect with tourism operators for a gap year job, as well as pathways to a long-term tourism career.

“We’re pleased to partner the State Government’s Work in Paradise jobs website with Gap Year Sunshine Coast to make sure young Australians don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”  

Phoebe Grace, 24, Specialty Instructor at Sunreef Mooloolaba highly recommended a gap year on the Sunshine Coast.

“I’m originally from regional New South Wales, so when I got a job with Sunreef, I was excited to be close to the beach, have access to great dive sites and immerse in the lifestyle that goes along with it,” Ms Grace said.

There’s so much opportunity for both personal and professional growth. It’s been an amazing experience.”

 Sunshine Coast employers can also upload their tourism and hospitality vacancies onto the Sunshine Coast Jobs Hub on the Gap Year Sunshine Coast website for free.

The website gapyearsunshinecoast.com.au includes a range of information about the jobs on offer, things to do on the Sunshine Coast, education, and training opportunities and all you need to know about living, playing, and working on the Sunshine Coast.

Image: Phoebe Grace, Sunreef