Shadow Minister for Employment Services, Workforce Participation and the Future of Work Ed Husic was in the Hunter today with Paterson MP Meryl Swanson to visit Mai-Wel LabourForce Solutions and StarLab.
Mai-Wel carries out important work helping young people prepare for and secure work opportunities in the Maitland area.
“The Turnbull Government has a poor record on tackling unemployment, particularly for young people,” Mr Husic said.
“In the Hunter Valley youth unemployment is at 10.8 per cent and in the Newcastle Lake Macquarie region it is 11.2 per cent. These levels are far too high compared to the NSW unemployment rate of 4.7 per cent and the government needs to do more to fix them.”
“The Turnbull Government is the first to blame young people for not finding work, but they need to look at their own record on creating jobs. Not only are they failing to create jobs but their jobs programs are failing to get young people ready for work.” Mr Husic said.
“Almost 90 per cent of people who enter Work for the Dole don’t have a job three months after participating,” Mr Husic said.
“Their expensive Youth Jobs PaTH program could be used as a way for businesses to pay less weekend penalty rates and is turning entry level jobs perfect for young people into internships instead of permanent work.”
Paterson MP Meryl Swanson thanked Mr Husic for meeting some of the Hunter’s digital entrepreneurs and youth employment specialists.
“It is good for the Shadow Minister to meet the innovators, and the trainers, who will help the young workers of tomorrow gain expertise.”
Mr Husic said the Turnbull Government’s jobs programs were failing young people trying to get a start in the work force. Ideas like StarLab are doing their best to fill the gaps in the system.
“After visiting StarLab, a STEM education platform run by Obelisk Systems earlier today, it’s clear to see the Turnbull Government’s cuts to schools funding and TAFE are going to make it harder for young people to get the best start in life.”
Ms Swanson said the Hunter had a responsibility to its young people entering the workforce.
“The Hunter has a history of highly skilled workplace expertise,” Ms Swanson said.
“It is vital for us, as leaders, to facilitate interactions between young people and business, and ensure continued opportunities.”