Job­less rate a con­cern

UN­EM­PLOY­MENT HITS A HIGH

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Jil­lian McKee

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.

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