Young and jobless: 365 days, 100 applications, zero jobs
THE Wide Bay has the third- highest rate of youth unemployment in Australia, leaving one in five young people like Hervey Bay's Alex Kingdom jobless and frustrated.
The 19-year-old has been looking for work for a year, but despite putting in about 100 applications, he has only had two interviews.
He has applied for fast-food jobs, retail positions, cleaning positions and administration jobs, but feels most of his resumes end up in the bin.
"It's so frustrating," Alex said.
"I am willing to work and want to get out there, but it's hard to keep up the momentum after all this time."
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING ON FACEBOOK
Peter Doré: Schools could teach work ethics, the need to work starting wherever possible and real life expectations. They could teach that the dole is a last resort rather than a lifestyle. They could teach how to move around the country to find work, how to manage on a start up wage, the importance of apprenticeships and the governments can support local industry to adopt more apprenticeship opportunities.
Derek Foulston: Bring back National service a minimum of 12 months. Introduce work for the dole compulsory. Ensure that locals will actually do the work that 457 visa workers do and for the same pay. Cut out giving the dole in cash.
Judy Haley: We don't have enough business's staying open. Business's need to offer voluntary training. Hervey Bay needs a training facility. Interview the kids at the skate park, ask why they are there and not at school.
Alex's story is a familiar one on the Fraser Coast, with 20.6% of people in the Wide Bay aged between 15 and 24.
According to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data snapshot, analysed by anti-poverty organisation the Brotherhood of St Laurence, youth unemployment in Queensland hit 13.2% in the year to January, but this region fared much worse.
Nationally, Wide Bay's rate was only topped by remote parts of outback Queensland which had the highest rate in the state at 28.4%, and the Hunter Valley in New South Wales.
Brotherhood director Tony Nicholson said as a nation, young people should be getting "a better deal".
"This generational issue needs sustained attention on all fronts; schools, vocational training and universities as well as welfare assistance and employment programs," Mr Nicholson said.
Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said the rate was "unacceptably high" and acknowledged there was "more work to be done to reduce it further".
"The Coalition Government is implementing a range of programs to give young Australians the right assistance and encouragement to learn new skills, become job ready, get a job, and stay in a job," Mr Pitt said.
Wide Bay MP Warren Truss' office provided a list of employment projects funded by the Federal Government including the new $6.8 billion Jobactive program, but Mr Truss was unable to comment.
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