‘Heavy hitters’ giving youngsters a go as youth unemployment rate drops
Orange and other Central West centres have gone from being some of the worst places for youth unemployment in Australia to some of the best in the space of two years.
A new report from the Brotherhood of St Laurence found the Central West had the 12th best youth unemployment rate nationally, while the Orana and the Far West regions were even better, ranking eighth.
The Central West improved from a 13.8 per cent unemployment rate among young people in January 2016 to just 8.5 per cent two years later.
The Orana and Far West region, which has traditionally been one of the worst for unemployment for those aged 15-24, cut its rate from 18.4 per cent in January 2016, to just 8 per cent at the start of this year.
Both regions were significantly below the national average for youth unemployment of 12.2 per cent but still higher than the overall unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent.
The CEO of apprenticeship and recruitment services provider Skillset Craig Randazzo said the results were encouraging and showed the regions boasted strong economies and good employers.
“Skillset Workforce staff are telling me they have seen very encouraging signs with the younger cohort,” Mr Randazzo said.
“Some of the industries that our young people have gone into include engineering, horticulture, mechanical trades, construction, childcare IT and retail.
“These represent some of the heavy-hitters in our region who are hiring young people.”
Mr Randazzo said they began focusing their programs for pre-employment and pre-apprenticeship on giving young people some of the basic skills employers were looking for.