WORK­ING ON A PLAN

COM­MU­NITY LEAD­ERS PUSH TO CRE­ATE EM­PLOY­MENT BOOM

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - John Lehmann and Ali­son Bald­ing

WITH youth un­em­ploy­ment in Mt Druitt among the high­est in the state, com­mu­nity lead­ers are push­ing for it to be a key fo­cus in a five-year plan to cre­ate 200,000 new jobs in Western Syd­ney.

More than 300 busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers, led by Deloitte Western Syd­ney man­ag­ing part­ner Danny Rezek, are de­vel­op­ing a blue­print to boost jobs and they want State Gov­ern­ment sup­port.

Point­ing to the area’s high youth un­em­ploy­ment (13.3 per cent in July), Evocca vo­ca­tional place- ment of­fi­cer Dell Froio says fund­ing cuts that are strip­ping the area of youth and com­mu­nity ser­vice work­ers “need to stop”.

The blue­print, to be re­leased in Novem­ber, will call for a fo­cus on in­vest­ing in spe­cific in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing health, man­u­fac­tur­ing, food, ed­u­ca­tion and tourism.

It is an am­bi­tion wel­comed by Mt Druitt state La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla who hopes the area can be­come the busi­ness hub for the automotive trades.

How­ever, he fears it could be jeop­ar­dised if cuts to TAFE, in­clud­ing the Mt Druitt cam­pus, con­tinue.

MT DRUITT com­mu­nity lead­ers have called for a fo­cus on youth un­em­ploy­ment to form part of the fiveyear plan to cre­ate 200,000 new jobs in Western Syd­ney.

More than 300 busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers, led by Deloitte Western Syd­ney man­ag­ing part­ner Danny Rezek, are de­vel­op­ing a blue­print to tur­bocharge jobs growth in the fast-grow­ing re­gion and they are push­ing for the Baird Gov­ern­ment’s sup­port.

“It’s an am­bi­tious jobs tar­get but it’s im­por­tant we tap into Western Syd­ney’s huge growth po­ten­tial now,” Mr Rezek said.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate in the Black­town lo­cal gov­ern­ment area, which cov­ers Mt Druitt, stood at 7.1 per cent and youth un­em­ploy­ment at 13.3 per cent in July – one of the high­est in the state.

Evocca vo­ca­tional place­ment of­fi­cer Dell Froio said it was time to build up and in­spire the next gen­er­a­tion by putting fund­ing back into pro­vid­ing youth and com­mu­nity ser­vice work­ers.

Deloitte part­ner Theo Psy­cho­gios said busi­ness and gov­ern­ments should fo­cus on iden­ti­fy­ing and fos­ter­ing ex­port-fo­cused in­dus­tries that com­ple­mented Western Syd­ney’s strengths.

The blue­print, to be re- leased in Novem­ber, will call for a fo­cus on in­vest­ing in spe­cific in­dus­tries, in­clud­ing health, ad­vanced man­u­fac­tur­ing, food and tourism.

Mt Druitt state La­bor MP Ed­mond Atalla wel­comed the push for more jobs in Western Syd­ney.

“I would like to see Mt Druitt be­come a busi­ness hub for the automotive re­pair trades,” Mr Atalla said.

“How­ever this is not be­ing helped by de­ci­sions like the one to re­move the Automotive Trades School from Mt Druitt TAFE. Western Syd­ney is ready to boom and re­mov­ing trades-skill ed­u­ca­tion is non­sen­si­cal.”

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