Jobless rate a concern
UNEMPLOYMENT HITS A HIGH
THE Mt Druitt area has some of the highest levels of unemployment in the state, with one in five residents without a job in some suburbs.
While this reflects a decline on previous years, statistics released by the Federal Department of Employment revealed employment in Bidwill, Emerton and Hebersham was four times higher than Sydney, at 18.9 per cent.
The Mt Druitt area recorded some of the highest rates in NSW, with Lethbridge Park and Tregear at 17.1 per cent, and Mt Druitt at 14 per cent.
Youth unemployment was most concerning for the area, with more than 40 per cent of people aged 15-24 unemployed in both Lethbridge Park and Tregear.
Chifley federal Labor MP Ed Husic agreed that youth unemployment had hit crisis point.
“National unemployment is higher now than it ever was during the global financial crisis,” Mr Husic said.
“Being an electorate with a higher-than-average number of young people, recordhigh youth unemployment is a real concern.
“Despite the youth unemployment crisis, groups such as Marist Youth Care and Doonside’s Eagles Raps have had to deal with funding cuts. In fact, the Abbott/ Turnbull government has cut all three youth unemployment prevention programs that actually helped young Australians to finish Year 12 and find a job.”
Mt Druitt state Labor MP Edmond Atalla said investment in TAFE should be increased.
“When the state cuts funds to TAFE, it doesn’t help. We need to break the intergenerational unemployment through educational means,” Mr Atalla said.
“Our main push has and always will be investing in education, especially as youth unemployment is so high.” The Sarina Russo employment agency opened up in Mt Druitt less than three months ago, and has already helped more than 80 residents secure employment.