Skillsroad Show to visit region to battle youth unemployment rates

Guyra's CBD.
Guyra's CBD.

Guyra is falling behind the state in post-secondary education while unemployment sky-rockets.

The latest census reveals only six per cent of the population were at university in 2016, compared to a state-average of 16.2.

NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Joe Townsend said part of the problem was a lack of exposure to training opportunities.

“Research shows that students who are exposed to four or more industry experiences at school are five times less likely to be at risk of unemployment as an adult,” he said.

“We must minimise the risk of young people becoming disengaged and suffering from long term unemployment.”

Youth unemployment has climbed to 14.3 per cent in the New England, compared to an already high national average of 5.9.

To battle the statistics the Department of Employment Empowering YOUth Initiative in conjunction with the NSW Business Chamber are bringing a Skillsroad Show to the region.

“There is a myriad of overarching research that shows this program has the potential to change the future of New England’s youth,” Mr Townsend said. 

“It could stimulate our labour market and economy if local businesses get on board and give young people a go.”

Agriculture is the main employing industry in Guyra, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. 

And while around 5.7 per cent of Guyra were attending a technical college in 2016, only 0.5 per cent behind the NSW average, Mr Townsend said there was room for improvement.

“We know if young people make the right career choices it will boost productivity and job retention,” he said.

The roadshow is a mobile careers hub, bringing career advice, counselling and job opportunities to youth.

The caravan is armed with psychometric tools like the Resume Builder, Job Fit Test, Career Quiz, and a live youth focussed Jobs Board.

“[It] works to help provide these industry connections to our youth and give them the skills to compete for local jobs, enhancing our community’s future,” Mr Townsend said.

The Skillsroad Show is making its way through 70 towns, including Glen Innes and Tenterfield, and will be in the New England and Upper Hunter Region until mid-September.