Youth unemployment rate for South West and Peel 10th highest in Australia: report

Image by Shutterstock.
Image by Shutterstock.

The South West and Peel ranked tenth highest in Australia for youth unemployment with 21.6 per cent of people aged 15 to 24 years unable to find a job.

The figures were released in the State of the Regions 2018-19 report published by the National Economics/Australian Local Government Association.

The report stated job prospects for students graduating from universities had improved with 72 per cent of people with a bachelor degree finding a job in 2017.

Employment opportunities for young people without qualifications were far more uncertain with disengaged youth and inequality seen as major concerns.

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According to the report, the unemployment rate in the combined South West and Peel regions had increased 6 per cent since 2003 making the area one of the most disadvantaged youth employment regions in the country.

It was estimated that the national average for youth unemployment was 16.1 per cent, rising from 13.1 per cent in 2017.

Premier Mark McGowan said he accepted youth unemployment was still high, but there were some positive signs.

He said initiatives the government had undertaken to create more jobs for young people included investing $520 million in job-creating infrastructure across the South West and Peel including the Bunbury Outer Ring Road.

The WA government has also frozen TAFE fees, opened jobs and skills centres in Bunbury and Peel, and spent $40 million to boost tourism across regional WA.

“The WA Industry Link portal will help local businesses to secure work on government contracts,” Mr McGowan said.  

“WA Industry Link will ensure more opportunities are created for WA businesses, meaning more jobs for local workers. 

“As part of the advisory service, local content advisors were available to provide advisory services to businesses in regional areas. 

“Their focus is on helping support regional businesses compete for State Government supply opportunities.”

The March report found 17.7 per cent of youth in the region were unemployed, with figure growing since 2016, when only 13.9 percent of 15-24 year olds were unemployed.