FACES OF JOBS MIS­ERY

Townsville lo­cals des­per­ate for work speak out

Townsville Bulletin - - FRONT PAGE - AN­DREW BACKHOUSE RE­PORTS

THE un­em­ploy­ment cri­sis in Townsville has a hu­man face and it is tak­ing its toll on in­creas­ingly des­per­ate res­i­dents.

More than one in ev­ery 10 peo­ple in the Townsville re­gion are with­out work and Danielle Martin is among them.

Be­ing re­jected by busi­nesses is a daily oc­cur­rence for the sin­gle mother of two. The 23- year- old has ap­plied for about 800 jobs in the past year but said she usu­ally did not even hear back from em­ploy­ers.

THE jobs cri­sis in Townsville has a hu­man face and it is tak­ing its toll on in­creas­ingly des­per­ate res­i­dents.

More than one in ev­ery 10 peo­ple in the Townsville re­gion are un­em­ployed and Danielle Martin is among them. Be­ing re­jected by busi­nesses is a daily oc­cur­rence for the sin­gle mother of two.

The 23- year- old has ap­plied for about 800 jobs in the past year but usu­ally does not hear back from em­ploy­ers.

“I’ve ap­plied for more than 20 jobs a fort­night,” Ms Martin said. “Day to day I check emails and face re­jec­tion af­ter re­jec­tion.”

The process takes an emo­tional toll on her.

“It’s heart­break­ing to see that no one wants you to work for them,” she said.

It’s a sit­u­a­tion that has struck many Townsville job­seek­ers, as re­vealed by the Bul­letin be­ing flooded with re­sponses af­ter ask­ing read­ers to tell of their dif­fi­cul­ties find­ing work in the city.

Ms Martin said she had ap­plied for ev­ery job she’s seen ad­ver­tised. “I even tried Mc­Don­ald’s,” she said.

“I ap­plied at ev­ery sin­gle Mc­Don­ald’s in Townsville but was re­jected by them all.”

She com­pleted Year 12 and is study­ing to­ward a Cer­tifi­cate III, In­di­vid­ual Sup­port ( Dis­abil­ity). But her ef­forts to find work have been ham­pered by a lack of ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The only ex­pe­ri­ence I have is as a par­ent and a cleaner,” she said. “No one will look at me.

“Most days I want to give up but I want a job. And no one wants to give me the op­por­tu­nity to try to show them that I can do the job.”

Ms Martin de­scribed the jobs mar­ket as dis­mal.

“It’s very hard in Townsville and there aren’t that many jobs,” she said. “Many em­ploy­ers want peo­ple to have at least six months of ex­pe­ri­ence and won’t look at any­one who doesn’t have that.”

She said govern­ments should pro­vide in­cen­tives for em­ploy­ers to train peo­ple with no ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Queens­land Gov­ern- ment in De­cem­ber im­ple­mented its Youth Boost pro­gram, which pro­vides fi­nan­cial in­cen­tives for em­ploy­ers to hire young job­seek­ers. Ms Martin said the pro­gram should be avail­able for all job­seek­ers.

She re­ceives pay­ments of about $ 1100 fort­nightly from Cen­tre­link as part of the par­ent­ing pay­ment and is not re­quired to seek work. She has vol­un­teered at a job agency.

Like so many Townsville job­seek­ers, she wants work so she can bet­ter pro­vide for her fam­ily. “I don’t want to be stuck on the pen­sion my whole life,” she said.

The Townsville job­less rate has re­mained about 10 per cent or above for the past 12 months, fol­low­ing the col­lapse of Queens­land Nickel.

Con­tact Ms Martin at danielle.mar­tin020@gmail.com with any job of­fers.

Main pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

DES­PER­ATE: Danielle Martin of Condon has had no luck look­ing for work.

Pic­ture: SCOTT RAD­FORD- CHISHOLM

HARD ROAD: Danielle Martin ap­plied for more than 20 jobs a fort­night.

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