More than 400 job seekers have snared work in the Illawarra after attending the federal government's Shellharbour Jobs and Skills Expo yesterday.
About 3800 people walked through the doors of Shellharbour City Stadium for the expo, and though much of the attention had been on jobs in far-away mining ventures, a local jobs board displayed 689 vacancies for jobs in the Illawarra.
People who attended the forum handed over 1340 resumes for the Illawarra jobs, with about 80 businesses and employers hosting stalls and listing vacancies.
Ranging from baking, construction and electrical apprenticeships through to management positions in hospitality, real estate and engineering, the number of jobs swelled from 400 in the morning to 689 at the end of the day.
A Jobs and Skills Expo spokesman said businesses had found people to fill 440 of those jobs by the time the expo closed at 3pm.
Minister for Employment Participation Kate Ellis attended the expo and said she was thrilled to be able to "change people's lives".
"You can quite literally see people walking out of here with a smile on their face because they will be starting a new job in this region on Monday," she said.
"We've placed 21,000 Australians into jobs at our expos already and we've now got over 600 local jobs up for grabs here.
"It's pretty good for this local community, and that's a very big overnight change for their individual circumstances."
Despite plentiful Illawarra jobs, some of the most popular stalls were from outside, with more than 200 defence jobs and hundreds of mining positions on offer.
"This was about giving people choice and giving people options," Ms Ellis said.
"If they are looking to get into the resource sector or the defence sector, then we can start making some of those connections too."