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Government action needed to help jobless youth

Release Date: 16/03/2016
The Illawarra Business Chamber is asking the Federal Government to take action to help jobless young people find work, after the release of data showing high rates of youth unemployment in the Illawarra.

 “Earlier today, we heard from the Brotherhood of St Laurence that the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven are a national unemployment ‘hot spot’, with more than 18% of their young residents looking for work.

 “This is very concerning, particularly when the NSW economy as a whole is powering ahead of the other states.

“We’re also concerned that youth unemployment in the Illawarra is tracking at almost 14% - well above Greater Sydney and Parramatta, which sit at around 10 and 11%.

“This election year, it’s time the Federal Government turned its attention to building jobs and business in the Illawarra.

 “The fact is that young people need jobs, and the jobs of the future here in the Illawarra will come from the private sector.

 “This election year, the Federal Government should look to strengthen our vocational education and training sector, a critical job pipeline for our young people.

“Not every young person wants or needs to go to university – and our infrastructure pipeline means that we urgently need pathways into apprenticeships and traineeships.

“The Federal Government should also make it easier for business to survive and thrive by adopting the Productivity Commission’s recommendations on penalty rates.

“We know, for example, that retail and hospitality are big employers of young people, yet excessive Sunday penalty rates are pricing young people out of their first jobs in these industries.

“The Federal Government should align penalty rates on Saturday and Sunday, so that more businesses can open their doors on the weekend.

“Creating a level playing field for business and growing trades pathways will ensure our next generation has the dignity of work and is poised to help us secure our economic future,” Ms Murphy concluded.
Media Contact: Rebecca Burdick 0417 135 858

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