Access Canberra will employ 20 temporary staff members in an effort to increase service delivery as part of an ACT government plan to stimulate the local economy by employing more than 150 extra staff during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
The new positions, part of a broader ACT government initiative to be announced on Monday, will see staff brought in to Access Canberra to provide customer services and complete administrative tasks.
While the jobs are casual, many of the positions will have full-time equivalent hours, the Sunday Canberra Times understands.
Minister for Business and Regulatory Services Gordon Ramsay said the extra jobs were part of a package designed to help Canberra's economy through the toughest one of its toughest periods.
"A key part of this is initiative is to not only provide a direct source of additional employment to people who have been impacted by COVID-19, but also to ensure local businesses and the broader Canberra community can benefit from a broad spectrum of strong front line services," Mr Ramsay said.
"We are pulling every lever at our disposal to ensure that the right support is available for those who need it most."
The executive branch manager of engagement and COVID-19 response at Access Canberra, Emily Springett, said the organisation was pleased to welcome extra staff as part of the package.
"The new roles will be primarily based in our service centres to provide direct support to our community. Workers will have an opportunity to receive training in service delivery and play an important part of the ACT's government's front-line service delivery to our community," Ms Springett said.
"New team members will also support our Licencing and Registrations team, processing vehicle transactions."
Ms Springett said the average wait time for phone calls to Access Canberra has increased slightly in recent weeks given the increased complexity of transactions taking place over the phone.
"[The average call wait time] is currently higher - averaging about six minutes, noting the increased complexity and transactional nature of calls. At any one time we have about 45 people answering phones in Access Canberra through the contact centre," she said.
Last month, ACT deputy treasurer Stephen Miners said growth predictions for the territory's economy had been downgraded and the coronavirus pandemic was particularly harmful for the territory because it disrupted two key economic drivers, higher education and tourism.
"One of the main reasons that the ACT is so exposed is that we have some of the fastest growth in terms of service exports
"Education exports grew by almost 8 per cent and is now worth more than $1 billion. Tourism expanded by 3.2 per cent and contributed a quarter of a billion dollars. That strong growth in that sector is going to be curtailed by coronavirus," he said.
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