BUSINESSES are taking on young staff in a bid to address youth unemployment.
Figures show 17.5 per cent of those aged 15 to 24 in the Hume region are not working.
To help combat this, employment agency Sureway held a breakfast with local employers last month and urged them to take on young staff.
Fifteen businesses have taken on new staff so far, including Albury-Wodonga RV World, which hired 19-year-old Phil Thompson.
“It’s very hard,” Mr Thompson said of his search for work.
“I probably applied for 60 or 70 jobs and I got one interview.
“They told me they wanted someone who had more experience, which comes up fairly often.”
Mr Thompson had been looking for employment since finishing high school last year, and finally landed an apprenticeship about three weeks ago.
“I was going into furniture shops, car dealerships, sales jobs, retail ... I just put my resume in anywhere,” he said.
“I’m just glad to get such a great opportunity with this business.”
Rachel Hutchesson, 21, has also been hired by Simple Indulgence in Lavington after a year out of work.
“It was hard and quite stressful,” she said.
“I’m definitely glad I landed the position.”
Sureway employment broker Lucille Trevaskis said youth unemployment was rife in the region and encouraged other businesses to help out.
“This is a really good success story,” she said.
“The new staff are all feeling pretty excited and we’d love to get a few more in.
“They do get pretty dejected with all the knockbacks so they’re all pretty happy to land jobs.”