Our local response to the problem of youth employment

The persistence of socially unacceptable high levels of unemployment and underemployment for people aged 15-24 (ie the youth cohort of the population) is having a great impact on our society.

Youth unemployment is a matter that concerns us all, as it has long-term consequences such as intergenerational welfare dependence and poverty, extremely limited life opportunities, unstable work histories, social isolation and poor physical and mental health outcomes.

The youth unemployment rate in Australia has increased to 13.5% and underemployment rates have also risen to an alarming 18%, the highest rate in 40 years. The situation in the Upper and Lower Hunter regions of NSW is even grimmer. The unemployment rate for 15 to 24-year-olds in the Hunter, outside Newcastle, was 21.8% in January 2016. Moreover, the Hunter has been ranked third in the list of Australian regions with the most, early school leavers.

It’s time for us to recognise this as a pertinent social justice issue in our community. For that reason, the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle Social Justice Council (SJC) Forum seeks to bring together a variety of participants to discuss local responses to these challenges of creating meaningful employment opportunities for young people. The purpose of the forum is to seek informed creative solutions to the challenging youth employment scenario.

The Hunter Youth Future Employment Forum will be held on 29 June at 5.30 pm at St Pius X High School, The Factory Theatrette, Park Avenue, Adamstown.

The forum presenters will be:

  • Dr Anthea Bill - Researcher for Hunter Research Foundation Centre
  • The Hon John Barilaro MP - Deputy Premier, Minister for Regional NSW, Skills and Small Business
  • Mr Rod Murphy - Hunter Business Chamber Member and Managing Director of R & R Murphy, Specialised Metal Fabricators

Register via email brooke.robinson@mn.catholic.org.au or call 4979 1111. 

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Sofia Caneo Image
Sofia Caneo

Sofia Caneo is the Online Communications Assistant for the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.

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