YOUTH in the North East appear to have abandoned plans to gain tertiary education because they simply can’t afford it.
There are concerns this may contribute to rising unemployment.
Recent figures show the Hume region is in the country’s top 10 for unemployed people aged 15 to 24.
The number of unemployed youth doubled, jumping from 7.9 per cent in July last year to 15.3 per cent this year.
As a result, a regional jobs forum is being organised by Labor candidate for Benambra Jennifer Podesta, who said we need to stop “sitting on our hands” when it comes to the issue.
Ms Podesta is calling on businesses, schools, training providers, community services, young people, their families and all tiers of government to come together to turn the situation around.
“Youth and their families would be an integral part of the forum, but we need a whole community approach and the more heads we get together the better the outcome,” Ms Podesta said.
“The forum will target a range of issues including labour market forces and cuts in TAFE which make it difficult for young people to access training for jobs.
“The labour market is becoming more casualised, which means insecure or minimal hours making it hard establish a work history to move into other jobs.”
Albury’s Stephanie Lunt, 21, is studying Certificate III in Business Administration online and has faced many of these issues trying to establish her career.
“Having a tertiary qualification of any kind helps you get a job and I think holding a forum for youth would be a really good idea,” she said.
“I would have to pay for TAFE myself next year, so due to the increasing cost I have decided not to go, and so have a lot of my friends.”
After months of job searching, Miss Lunt made a recent career change from hospitality to administration which she said would not have been possible without the help of training providers.
“I’m not even qualified in administration yet and probably wouldn’t even have my job, but because I had the interest of doing admin and had already began studying it online that’s how I got the job,” she said.
Ms Podesta will be approaching government, training providers and other stake holders over the coming weeks.