Rockhampton MP says teen jobseekers left on sideline

BILL Byrne says the Newman Government's disastrous vocational education policy is making it harder for Rockhampton's young jobseekers to gain the skills they need to find work

The Rockhampton MP launched his attack as the adult unemployment rate for July in Queensland hit 6.8%.

"Rockhampton's youth unemployment rate has continued to grow since the Newman Government was elected in 2012 and is now double the adult rate at 13.6%," Mr Byrne (pictured) said.

"That is a tragedy for the school- leavers and out-of-work youngsters who are desperate to find a job and earn a wage."

Mr Byrne said one of the first things the Newman Government had done was scrap the successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work program. At the same time, Education and Training Minister John-Paul Langbroek had set about systematically dismantling vocational education throughout Queensland.

"The effect of this sustained attack on the vocational education and training sector has been to effectively lock out many young people from gaining the education and practical skills they need to make them employable, either through unaffordable fees or removing courses completely," he said.

But Mr Langbroek said the Queensland Government had a strong plan to super- charge the state's economy and create jobs.

"We are investing $1.1 billion on training, higher education and employment in Queensland this financial year," he said.

"More than half of this investment is being spent on providing Queenslanders with the skills they need to gain long-term, meaningful employment."

Mr Langbroek said the government was focussed on training our young people which was why fee-free training was available to all Year 12 graduates in high priority courses.


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