Case manager Lee Prince and unemployed Gympie resident Shane Taylor are devastated the local program funded by the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative has been axed.
Case manager Lee Prince and unemployed Gympie resident Shane Taylor are devastated the local program funded by the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative has been axed. CONTRIBUTED

Cuts hurt pensioner

AFTER Shane had gone through the process of applying, disability pensioner Shane Taylor was told he could no longer access the program that was supposed to train him to re-enter the workforce.

The Newman government this week axed programs under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, which included Gympie's Participate in Prosperity (PiP) program.

Despite a track record of success, this program will cease to operate at the end of next month. It's one of many victims of the government's funding cuts aimed at reining in state debt. A number of "frontline" services across Queensland that assisted disadvantaged people will cease on August 30.

PiP case manager Lee Prince said it was devastating news for people like Mr Taylor.

"We have one of the highest unemployment rates in Queensland," she said.

PiP specialised in intensive case management with disadvantaged people in an effort to remove barriers and assist them to move into training, education and employment.

"What happens to these people now?" Ms Prince asked.

In the past 12 months PiP has supported 63 participants with significant barriers. Forty-one attended training and 28 entered employment, with five deciding to choose volunteer work. For Mr Taylor, a mature-age man with disabilities, PiP training was a chance to find employment after years away from the workforce.

A combination of post traumatic stress, triggered by an armed hold-up when he worked in a convenience store and an unrelated back injury, put him out of action for five years. And while symptoms are ongoing, Mr Taylor was keen to start working again.

"What upsets me the most is I went for the interview and I got in and then I hear they cut the program the day before," he said.

"You believe government promises when they're after your vote and they come in and knock out the services for people like me. Now there's nothing else except coal seam gas training in Gympie now."

AXED

  •  Fanfare, the biennial music festival for Queensland state school bands and orchestras.
  •  Queensland Premier's Literary Award.
  •  Breaking the Cycle domestic violence program in Rockhampton.
  •  An indigenous alcohol diversion program in Rockhampton.
  •  Reduced expenditure on Parent Awareness Strategies.
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