Youth unemployment on the Coast is now above the state average.
Youth unemployment on the Coast is now above the state average. Contributed

Youth unemployment 'skyrockets' above average

THREE months after a State Government employment program was scrapped on the Sunshine Coast, figures have shown the youth unemployment rate has jumped from below, to above average.

According to findings from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the percentage of unemployed 15 to 24-year-olds rose from 11.7 per cent in September last year, to 15.1 per cent in September this year.

The state average is 13 per cent.

Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson MP has criticised the Palaszczuk government for cutting the Back to Work program from the region as unemployment "continues to skyrocket".

"Other areas with lower unemployment figures are still getting this program to help target unemployment, particularly for youth," Ms Simpson said.

The program that offered support payments of up to $15,000 for employers who hired eligible employees was scrapped from the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Toowoomba in July following the State Budget.

At the time, Minister for Employment Shannon Fentiman denied the program had been cut in Southeast Queensland, despite the Back to Work website listing only Logan, Scenic Rim, Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Somerset and Moreton Bay as eligible as of July 1.

More than 1000 applicants turned up to Saturday's Event Cinemas recruitment drive for the new Kawana Shoppingworld complex.
More than 1000 applicants turned up to Saturday's Event Cinemas recruitment drive for the new Kawana Shoppingworld complex. Event Cinemas

Ms Fentiman told the Daily $20.5 million had been allocated in the budget to help areas in the southeast experiencing labour market challenges, and said the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program offered up to $20,000 to employers to take on apprentices and trainees.

This month, more than 1000 people turned out to an employment drive for Event Cinemas Kawana - which will open in Kawana Shoppingworld later this year - despite just 76 positions being available.

The Sunshine Coast's unemployment figures are surpassed only by, Logan/Beaudesert (15.6 per cent); Townsville (16.7 per cent); Moreton Bay South (19.1 per cent); Wide Bay (23.5 per cent); and outback Queensland (36.7 percent).

The overall unemployment rate for the Coast has risen 1.5 per cent in that time to 6.4 per cent, slightly above the state average of 6.1 per cent.

"It's time the Palaszczuk Labor government kept their promise and were a government for all Queensland," Ms Simpson said.

"That means State Government job programs that don't discriminate against people based on where they live..."

Should young people have more access to employment support?

This poll ended on 29 November 2018.

Current Results

Of course.

30%

No, they should figure it out themselves.

10%

Everyone should get more support.

60%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.



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