YES! A matchmaking service for employers and job seekers will be a reality for the Darling Downs and South West, across all 10 local government areas. 

The Queensland Government announced earlier this month that Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West (RDA DDSW) has successfully secured grant funding under the Workforce Connect Fund.

RDA DDSW is thrilled to announce that this grant will enable the development of the YES (Youth Employer Success) digital platform for roll out across the Darling Downs and South West region.  The platform will enable job seekers to more easily connect with business and industry from the second half of 2023 and will enable local students, job seekers and career changers to engage with progressive local businesses.

This initiative is supported by the Toowoomba Regional Jobs Committee (also funded by the Queensland Government).  It is designed to address the common difficulties that job seekers have with gaining experience with work, which helps in turn with career decisions and to learn about different job options and industries. It also allows employers to meet potential candidates and mentor candidate pools for future job vacancies.

Based on a successful platform currently used in New Zealand, the website will automatically connect job seekers with businesses and organisations offering employment-based opportunities, helping to build the capabilities and confidence of our future workforce.   The platform will help foster the critical connection between career seekers to industry, allowing progressive employers to showcase their own workplaces, development mentoring relationships and highlight employment pathways into their industries.

This YES platform will facilitate a variety of opportunities for career seekers including:

  • Desk shadowing
  • Internships
  • Skills reviews
  • Resume/CV reviews
  • Industry entry discussion
  • Mentoring
  • Mock interview
  • Role reversal interview
  • Business walkthrough
  • Informal coffee chat
  • Group presentations 

Jennifer Rix, Director – Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West and Chair of the Toowoomba Regional Jobs Committee advised:

“This will be game-changing for our region’s youth and those seeking fulfilling careers. Local employment support services help prepare their clients for work, but without a connection or existing network into local businesses and industry, it is difficult to truly prepare individuals for work. This digital platform will help bridge this gap, particularly for those without established networks from disadvantaged backgrounds, those newly arrived to Australia, those seeking a career change into a different or growth industry or those returning from an extended career break after parental leave and the like.”  

“For emerging or growth industries or sectors with crippling workforce shortages, this platform will provide an avenue to showcase their industry and cultivate candidate pools.”

“This innovative platform will deliver the step change required to adapt at pace and connect our workforce to industry.  It is a scalable model, spanning our vast region, dovetailing directly into the mobile phones and social media feeds of our youth and those not linked to traditional supports.  For small business, who have grappled with contemporary recruitment practices and workforce planning, they will now have access to a simple tool 24-7.  It is a matchmaking tool that is both accessible and educational.  It’s a YES!”

Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West is an independent organisation working with all levels of government to achieve economic development for our region.  Workforce challenges can be a barrier for growth.  RDA will be seeking support from Employment Service Providers, Chambers and Councils across the region in the coming months to launch and promote the YES platform. If your business is interested in signing up as an early adopter of this initiative, please send an Expression of Interest via this QR code or go to