Brimbank Council is pushing for solutions to address the City’s serious youth unemployment problem in a bid to turn around disturbing rates of disadvantage.
The Mayor of Brimbank, Cr Lucinda Congreve said it is crucial that the community has access to education and training opportunities needed to develop and prepare young people for their entry into the job market.
“We know that our young people are suffering from high rates of unemployment and that Brimbank is well above the State average, with almost 3,000 unemployed youth, according to the latest Census (2016) Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
“These are unacceptable levels and something must be done to turn this around because it’s having a serious impact on the health and wellbeing of far too many young people in our community,” said Cr Congreve.
At the Ordinary Council Meeting on 11 December, a Notice of Motion was moved by Cr Virginia Tachos requesting that Council writes to the Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP, and the Minister for Training and Skills and Minister for Higher Education, the Hon. Gayle Tierney MP, seeking meetings to discuss this issue.
Cr Tachos said initiatives such as implementing free TAFE training to help address the industry skills shortage, and ways to establish effective communication meetings with Brimbank students and graduates about job and training opportunities would be high on the agenda for discussion.
“We need to advocate to Federal and State governments for more investment in education and training. Funding is imperative to bring about the scale of change that’s required in Brimbank.
“There are many barriers that can get in the way, and the community needs our support. We see all too often that young people from vulnerable groups, such as people with disability, or from disadvantaged backgrounds, are more likely to experience unemployment, and for longer periods of time than their peers.
“There’s a lack of entry level jobs and this affects people’s confidence in applying for work, yet there is often the perception that young people are the problem and not willing to put in the effort to find work, which is simply not true,” said Cr Tachos.
Council will continue to advocate on the Melbourne Airport Rail Link, which is expected to deliver significant economic benefits to Brimbank, provide ongoing support for the development of the Sunshine National Employment and Innovation Cluster, and improve its connections to employment hubs.
Next year Council will open Brimbank Learning Futures at Visy Cares Hub in Sunshine to support young people experiencing barriers to education and unemployment.