Unemployed young people on the South Coast at record highs under Baird Government

25th November 2016

The number of unemployed young people on the South Coast is at the highest level since the Baird Government came to power, topping 20% for the first time since July 2013.

The results were published this week by the NSW Parliamentary Library in their October Labor Force Trends report incorporating data from the ABS Labour Force Survey.

Greens MLC and spokesperson for the South Coast Justin Field said, “Today more than 1 in 5 young people aged 15-24 in the Southern Highlands and South Coast are unemployed and face challenging futures.”

“Youth employment is rising across the South Coast and Illawarra but is highest on the South Coast at 20.2% with the Illawarra at 16.6%.”

“While the Baird Government is busy in Sydney privatising the state’s assets, regional young people are being let down.”

“The figure of twenty per cent represents nearly 2,500 young people in our region who are not in school or work and not having the experiences and developing the skills they’ll need for a secure future. These are crisis levels and need urgent attention from Governments.

“The report comes at the same time new Nationals Deputy Premier John Barilaro is telling Fairfax Media that his government will manage the loss of 600 electricity network jobs in regional NSW by working, “with employees and industry to ensure impacts on the workforce are managed in a sensitive and orderly way."

“There is nothing sensitive about unemployment. Creating and sustaining regional jobs need Government investment and support, not an approach that smooths the way to unemployment.”

“All levels and sides of politics need to work together on an employment strategy for the South Coast and Illawarra, especially for young people. That must include reinvigorating the TAFE sector and local manufacturing to support the transition to 100% renewable energy.

“This is a community with a lot to offer in terms of its natural beauty and tourism, skills and infrastructure to support manufacturing and agriculture as well as service provision in health, ageing and government services.

“We need a coordinated strategy to give regional young people the opportunity to find rewarding jobs and a secure future", Mr Field said.

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