JOBLESS RATE: Local unemployment figures are shockingly high.
JOBLESS RATE: Local unemployment figures are shockingly high. Michaela O'Neill

Can't get a job? You're not alone

UNEMPLOYMENT is a huge burden on young people in regions like Gympie and Wide Bay, new figures reveal.

And both state and federal political representatives want urgent and targeted action.

And Gympie MP Tony Perrett says the situation calls for urgent action and targeted job creation incentives.

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien says he wants more federal backing for programs to create jobs.

Jobless statistics reported on Friday show skyrocketing rates of youth unemployment, despite significant gains in employment prospects overall.

The Courier-Mail reported a massive unemployment rate of 22 per cent among young people in Wide Bay.

The figures refer to people in the age group between 15 and 24.

Mr O'Brien said he had considerable empathy for young people looking for work, as he was one of them once.

"The high youth unemployment rate is a real concern for me and I know it is for those who are looking for work.

"While the knock-backs can be disheartening, it's really important to persevere.

"Since being elected, my priority has been to secure federal backing for projects that will create jobs in our region.”

Mr Perrett called for "specific targeted programs and incentives” to address what he called a "systemic problem.”

"One size does not fit all and programs have to be Gympie-centric,” he said.

"Solutions have to be found about making it easier for employers to put on staff and easier for people to gain the right skills to secure long-term jobs,” he said. He described as "disgraceful” the state government's four-year delay in granting a lease to the University of the Sunshine Coast a state government-owned building that could improve educational opportunities for young people.”

"This is a legacy of four years of wasted opportunities,” he said.

Mr O'Brien said he was impatient for a start on the $800m realignment of the highway around Gympie.

"But the most important thing state and federal governments can do is bring electricity prices down so businesses can expand.”

Gympie Times


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