Maryborough election candidates talk about how they will tackle youth unemployment if elected. Photo: File/ Generic
Maryborough election candidates talk about how they will tackle youth unemployment if elected. Photo: File/ Generic

Youth unemployment big issue ahead of state election.

UPDATE: LNP candidate Denis Chapman said youth unemployment was a big issue for Maryborough and one of the major reasons he is running for the seat of Maryborough.

"This issue is raised frequently especially by young people and parents with children in the senior years at school," Mr Chapman said.

He believed Maryborough youth employment should not focused into one specific industry, rather the region needed diverse employment opportunities for youth of the electorate.

"I will work with employers to ascertain the special requirements that they have so that our young people in Maryborough will be properly prepared to take advantage of the improved economy that the LNP will deliver," Mr Chapman said.

"It's in the LNP's DNA to grow the economy so that the business community can have confidence for the future and so create jobs to support youth employment."

"The LNP will not fail young people and my doors will always be open for anyone who wishes to come to see me," he said.

EARLIER:YOUTH unemployment in Wide Bay sits at a high 19.8 per cent.

As we get closer to the state election, we ask how will Maryborough election candidates tackle this big issue?

All candidates agreed it was a major concern for the electorate, but differed on how best to tackle it.

Incumbent ALP state member Bruce Saunders said it was brought to his attention by many young people in the electorate.

State Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders. Photo: Stuart Fast
State Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders. Photo: Stuart Fast

Mr Saunders said he was looking at a raft of new jobs coming to Maryborough, especially in the areas of tourism, manufacturing and retail.

He said he was working with the community and the Fraser Coast Regional Council to bring more job opportunities to the youth of Maryborough.

"We're working hard, we've done a lot of things and created jobs for the city," Mr Saunders said.

Craig Armstrong is running as a Greens candidate for Maryborough in the 2020 State Election.
Craig Armstrong is running as a Greens candidate for Maryborough in the 2020 State Election.

Greens candidate Craig Armstrong said the focus should be on supporting youth looking for work and making sure they are employed in meaningful long-term jobs.

Mr Armstrong said he had seen first-hand the struggle of unemployment, having watched his four sons try to find careers outside of fast-food and retail.

"I'd like to see community support for services jobs like aged care, child care and general demand for jobs that bring higher paid positions to the region," he said.

Mr Armstrong said he would also focus on keeping young people employed saying casualisation was a threat to youth job security.

One Nation Candidate Sharon Lohse's approach to youth unemployment is to offer alternative paths to high school and university.

One Nation candidate for Maryborough Sharon Lohse. Photo: Stuart Fast
One Nation candidate for Maryborough Sharon Lohse. Photo: Stuart Fast

She says this should include reopening Maryborough TAFE and providing 'interventions for troubled young people'.

"We've got to make decisions and make them mandatory … we've got to broaden their options to make them want to do it," she said.

She said reopening Maryborough's TAFE campuses would ensure skilled workers to keep the region's agriculture, engineering, automotive and building industries thriving.

"In the end there will be youth that simply won't engage, that's what the Hard Yakka program is for," she said.

For example, the Operation Hard Yakka program 'helps straighten young people out and teach them to respect Australian society', she said.

Ms Lohse said incorporating the program taught respect and taught them to engage with their opportunities.

"They've got to be either in school, in TAFE or in some form of employment," she said.

Informed Medical Options Party candidate Samantha Packer said youth unemployment needed "desperate attention."

 

Samantha Packer is running as a Maryborough candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party.
Samantha Packer is running as a Maryborough candidate for the Informed Medical Options Party.

"Many people have raised concerns in this area and not just about unemployment, but a lack of support and services directed at our young people," she said.

"I worked in the Salvation Army for three years specifically in youth and children's work, so this is a key passion of mine."

Ms Packer said the solution wasn't simply to make jobs available, but to address the need for adequate support and services for young people and their families.

"I am committed to supporting programs that will see the youth of our district thrive and I believe we can go a long way to doing this when working together as a community," she said.

LNP candidate Denis Chapman has been contacted for comment.