Ex­perts crit­i­cise job sta­tis­tics

Call to move gov­ern­ment work out west to ease un­em­ploy­ment lev­els three times the state av­er­age

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Ali­cia Wood

YOUTH un­em­ploy­ment in western Syd­ney is up to three times the av­er­age state un­em­ploy­ment rate and way above the av­er­age state youth un­em­ploy­ment rate.

The av­er­age for state youth un­em­ploy­ment is 12 per cent, while in Black­town it’s 14.2 per cent.

The gen­eral state un­em­ploy­ment av­er­age is 5.6 per cent, and ex­perts say it’s a “dis­grace” that un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures are so high for young peo­ple in the west.

Western Syd­ney Univer­sity’s Cen­tre for Western Syd­ney re­ports that there are 160,000 more work­ers in the re­gion than jobs, with this fig­ure set to ex­plode to 306,000 by 2036 with­out se­ri­ous in­ter­ven­tion by the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor.

Mean­while, ma­jor em­ploy­ers will at­tend a ca­reers expo in Penrith next month.

YOUTH un­em­ploy­ment in western Syd­ney is up to three times the av­er­age state un­em­ploy­ment rate and way above the av­er­age state youth un­em­ploy­ment rate.

The av­er­age for state youth un­em­ploy­ment is 12.0 per cent, while in Black­town it’s 14.2 per cent, in the in­ner south­west it’s 15.7 per cent and in the outer south­west, 14.5 per cent.

But Par­ra­matta is buck­ing the trend with 9.9 per cent, ce­ment­ing its po­si­tion as the new CBD of Syd­ney.

The gen­eral state un­em­ploy­ment av­er­age is 5.6 per cent, and ex­perts say it’s a “dis­grace” that un­em­ploy­ment fig­ures are so high for young peo­ple in the west.

Western Syd­ney Univer­sity’s Cen­tre for Western Syd­ney re­ports that there are 160,000 more work­ers in the re­gion than jobs, with this fig­ure set to ex­plode to 306,000 by 2036 with­out se­ri­ous in­ter­ven­tion by the gov­ern­ment and pri­vate sec­tor.

Western Syd­ney di­rec­tor of the Syd­ney Busi­ness Cham­ber David Borger said it was ap­palling to see the high lev­els of youth un­em­ploy­ment oc­cur­ring in the re­gion.

“I think it’s a dis­grace we have high rates of youth un­em­ploy­ment in western Syd­ney. If we can’t pro­vide our kids op­por­tu­ni­ties in good times, that’s a real shame,” he said.

“The city build­ing ac­tiv­i­ties the Gov­ern­ment is un­der­tak­ing in places like Par­ra­matta are ex­cel­lent, but the ques­tion is how do you ex­tend that to places like Camp­bell­town, Liver­pool, and Penrith – these have to be the next pri­or­ity.”

Ac­cord­ing to the Cen­tre for Western Syd­ney, 318,000 peo­ple leave western Syd­ney for work ev­ery day, and this is ex­pected to rise to 492,000 in 20 years.

Western Syd­ney Lead­er­ship Di­a­logue chair­man Christo­pher Brown said the trans­port sys­tem in Syd­ney that fun­nels every­one to the CBD “is bro­ken and it needs to be fixed”. He’s call­ing on the State Gov­ern­ment to move de­part­ments like Trea­sury, Trans­port and Fi­nance to the west, and wants the Federal Gov­ern­ment to move SBS to Liver­pool.

“Western Syd­ney can’t con­tinue to be seen as one big dor­mi­tory pro­vid­ing peo­ple for jobs in the CBD. We need the north-south rail arc link and bet­ter trans­port ac­cess,” Mr Brown said.

The sec­ond air­port at Badgerys Creek would be a cat­a­lyst for in­creas­ing the num­ber of jobs in the re­gion. Join the con­ver­sa­tion at face­book.com/ mt­druitt­stan­dard

Pic­ture: Peter Kelly

Fay Clark with Penrith state Lib­eral MP Stu­art Ayres at The Joan.

Christo­pher Brown.

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