Celebrity tradesman Scott Cam’s $347,000 role as the first national careers ambassador has come under fire after Senate Estimates heard he has only attended one event.
- The Government hired Scott Cam to be a trades ambassador in October last year
- The role is designed to boost the number of people going into trades
- He has so far delivered a four social media posts and three videos for expos and awards
The Gold Logie winner and host of Nine’s The Block was contracted by the Federal Government in October last year to help curb a decline in young people taking-up trade apprenticeships.
But the effectiveness of his role has been slammed by Labor senators after the Department of Education, Employment and Skills outlined the extent of Cam’s activities in his six-figure position.
The Department’s first assistant secretary Matthew Hardy told the hearing Cam’s “first role” was in October at a conference to spruik his new job and raise the profile of the National Careers Institute.
But the department later acknowledged that the launch — which was attended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison — had been Cam’s first and only face-to-face event to date.
Mr Hardy said Cam had engaged in several other activities which were all online.
“Mr Cam has published social media posts — which is Facebook and Instagram. He reaches more than 113,000 followers,” he said.
The department said he had done a total of four social media posts, including one in October to announce his appointment to the job.
Scott Cam Facebook post
It said he has been involved in three National Career Institute videos, which were played at career expos and an industry awards event, and an online profile on the Institute’s website which the department said had received 1,400 visits.
Labor senator Kristina Keneally became increasingly frustrated in an exchange with the department’s deputy secretary Nadine Williams over details of future events involving Cam.
Keneally: How many events does he have planned for the rest of his contractual period? Face-to-face events? …You just said he has a number planned. What is the number?
Williams: So, we might need to take that on notice. We have a range of events that we are working through with Mr Cam.
Keneally: But you said he had them planned.
Skills Minister Michaelia Cash sought to defend Cam’s performance in the role.
“[We are] utilising his profile, and in particular his story, what happened when he left school, what he did with his apprenticeship, how he has gone on to have different careers, run a small business, employ people and become the successful household name that he is,” she said.
“It is actually the influence that that then had of drawing people in and raising awareness.”
As part of the 15-month contract, Cam will receive $262,000 between October 1, 2019 and the end of this financial year.
He will earn a further $85,000 next financial year.