BUSY At Work, a leading provider of apprenticeship, employment and community programs, has urged Gold Coast businesses to do their part to bring down youth unemployment in the region.
The organisation said that while the latest jobs data may seem encouraging at first glance, the situation for young people across the Gold Coast is far from favourable.
The latest figures from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office (QGSO) show the region’s unemployment dropped 0.7 percentage points in the 12 months to December 2015. The proportion of locals without a job currently stands at 5.3 per cent, which is lower than both the state-wide and national averages (5.9 and 5.8 per cent respectively).
However, youth unemployment tells a different story. QGSO data for last month showed 12.7 per cent of people aged between 15 and 24 years old are out of work. This is 1.9 percentage points lower than in December 2014, yet Gold Coast youths are still more than twice as likely to be unemployed than the average Queenslander.
BUSY At Work CEO Paul Miles said December’s labour force figures were steady, indicating growth is heading in the right direction. Nevertheless, he called on employers to offer young people more opportunities to ensure a strong, sustainable regional recovery.
“Youth unemployment remains a significant issue on the Gold Coast, and there is a desperate need for more support for our youth,” he stated.
“We are a strong advocate for apprenticeships and traineeships as valued career pathways, and we are calling all Gold Coast employers to step up and take on an apprentice or trainee.”
According to BUSY At Work, more than 600 apprenticeship and traineeship qualifications are available, ranging from certificate levels to advanced diplomas. A choice of full- and part-time positions gives businesses the flexibility they need to address critical skills shortages, with qualifications taking between one and four years, on average, to complete.
The federal government provides additional support through the Australian Apprenticeships Incentives Program, enabling eligible organisations to receive funding when they take on an apprentice or trainee. Queensland’s $45 million payroll tax rebate scheme can also offer financial benefits.
“The Australian government is not prepared to stand by while a generation of young Australians remain without gainful employment,” said Federal Minister for Employment Michaelia Cash in October.
“Early intervention can mean the difference between a young person taking their first steps into productive and happy working lives – or entering a life of welfare dependency.”
Apprenticeships and traineeships can provide Gold Coast employers with young, motivated staff who are specifically trained to meet the current and future needs of their organisations.
BUSY At Work is there to support you throughout the life of apprenticeships. If you would like any further information, call 13 BUSY (13 28 79) or visit www.busyatwork.com.au.
MEDIA CONTACT: Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator
BUSY At Work
0438 173 960 firstname.lastname@example.org