BACK TO WORK: $100 million for M'boro jobseekers


MARYBOROUGH, it's time to get back to work.

That's the message from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as she visited the Heritage City to promote her government's $100 million 'Back To Work' jobs package.

Since it was launched earlier this year the Back to Work program provides regional businesses employer support payments of up to $10,000 when an unemployed worker or young jobseeker is hired.

Since it commenced in July, the Premier said the program had seen 131 new jobseekers in the Wide Bay-Burnett region find work.

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Ms Palaszczuk saw the fruits of her government's labour when she visited Wade Sawmill, which had hired four people through the package.

"We know how important employment is, and I want to drive youth unemployment down in the regions and make sure that people have the opportunity to get a job," she said.

"There are four regional people who have been employed here at this sawmill - I'd like to thank the Wade Sawmill for getting on board our Back to Work program, to give these people the opportunity to have a job."

Ms Palaszczuk said despite the program only hiring 131 people out of the entire Wide Bay-Burnett region, she hoped more Fraser Coast businesses would jump on board to help lower the region's severe unemployment rate, one of the worst in the state.

The new program specifically targets young workers, with the 'youth boost' part of the program granting payments of $20,000 for each new jobseeker between 15-24 years of age hired.

"The new Back to Work 'Youth Boost' has been strategically timed to coincide with the end of the senior school year," Ms Palaszczuk said. The program's 'youth boost' is expected to be implemented from December 1 until February 28, 2017.

The program in its entirety has supported 731 jobs in regional Queensland, with a further 277 applications in the system.

Shadow Treasurer Scott Emerson, however, said the Premier had failed to mention that 1100 people in the region had lost their jobs in the past 12 months, according to the Bureau of Statistics.

"Youth unemployment is sky-rocketing across the Wide Bay region and participation rates are plunging."

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