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Geelong Advertiser Opinion Piece - Karingal Headquarters

Towards the end of last year, the Committee for Geelong was pleased to hear that its long-standing member Karingal has promised to retain its head office operations in Geelong, despite its national growth.  Karingal is a not-for-profit organisation providing a range of services for people with a disability or mental illness, older Australians and those who are disadvantaged. Karingal's commitment is a vote of confidence in our transforming region, and construction of its three storey head office in Belmont will begin this year.


2016 was a big year for Karingal; merging with St Laurence and acquiring Employment Services Holdings (ESH) Group.  This important acquisition followed a series of successful negotiations and the completion of an intensive due diligence process.  ESH will now become part of the Karingal St Laurence merged entity when it is legally formed.


The ESH Group is a leading provider of employment, training, recruitment and labour hire services, comprising of two separate businesses - Employment Services Groups (ESG) and IPA Personnel.  With offices in New South Wales, Western Australia, Queensland and the Australian Capital Territory, the services offered will complement those currently delivered through MatchWorks in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.


Karingal's purchase of ESH now ranks MatchWorks and ESG combined as a substantial national provider of employment services across Australia.  The acquisition of IPA Personnel also provides a recruitment and workforce solutions business to expand Karingal's services to employers.


As part of Karingal's long term strategy, the Board and Executive have been actively seeking new business opportunities to support Karingal's growth and future financial viability, through scale and diversity. 


Mike McKinstry, CEO of Karingal, said, "This acquisition provides Karingal with the opportunity to continue delivering and supporting clients and job seekers in the employment sector.  The increased geographical coverage and income diversification will allow Karingal to continue to advocate for people with a disability and those who are disadvantaged in the community".


"With the acquisition of ESH, Karingal's annual revenue will grow from $114M to $230M per year, and the number of employees nationally will grow from 1700 currently in Karingal to 2000 employees. In early 2017 when the Karingal St Laurence merger is fully complete, the annual revenue will increase further to approximately $280M, and the total number of employees within Karingal St Laurence will then be 2800 nationally".


The Committee's Winning from Second international research reinforces the importance of the existing social insurance cluster to Geelong.  With the establishment in our city of the headquarters of the National Disability Insurance Agency, Transport Accident Commission and, more recently, WorkSafe, this is a key growth sector for our region.  It is important to embed and connect these agencies within Geelong through forming links to local service providers; developing training and placement opportunities with Universities and TAFEs; and strengthening connections within that cluster.  Given this, Karingal's growth is even more important to Geelong and we hope that their success will inspire more organisations to set up headquarters in our city - particularly those in the disability sector.




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