In May, the unemployment rate among young people reached 13.1 per cent, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). This is the highest rate for youth unemployment since 2002.
In parts of Queensland, the youth unemployment figures are much higher, with over 20 per cent of youth in Cairns not working or studying. These figures come from a recent report from the Brotherhood of St Lawrence, an Australian anti-poverty charity. The report also found high youth unemployment in other areas of Queensland, like Moreton Bay North, where the figure has reached 18 per cent.
While youth unemployment remains high, national unemployment figures have dropped. According to Roy Morgan research, total joblessness in Australia dropped 1.2 per cent in April to 10.4 per cent.
The ABS has estimated this figure to be even lower, suggesting that the overall unemployment rate is close to six per cent.
In Queensland, total unemployment rates have been holding steady, even as the numbers of jobless young people creeps up.
This means that increasing employment figures are not benefiting young Australians. Older jobseekers are having an easier time getting back into the workforce than young people looking for their first jobs.
Trades facing skill shortages
While unemployment is up in Australia, there are also opportunities in a number of trades, many of which are seeing chronic skill shortages. Areas like carpentry, joinery and stone masonry are all facing skills shortages, with not enough apprentices to fill gaps in the workforce.
With jobs for young people in short demand across Queensland, an apprenticeship might offer valuable training in a high-demand industry. Completing an apprenticeship will not only ensure that you have all the skills necessary to pursue a career in your chosen area, but that you also have a solid base of experience and contact for your own career.
If you are a young person thinking about pursuing a trades apprenticeship it is worth consulting with an apprenticeship service. They will have the experience to make sure you get into the right programme which suits your needs and interests.
Even if you are still in school, it is also worth considering a future in a trade. Getting into a recognised programme while you are still in school or once you have completed your qualifications will make a big difference to your future career options.
By Leanne de Toerkenczy, Public Relations Coordinator