THE Hunter Valley’s future prospects rest in the hands of young people.
Yet for thousands of young unemployed, maintaining the motivation to just get out of bed in the morning can be an enormous challenge.
For older generations it’s easy to step back and put the onus on young people and say they’re not doing enough to help themselves, but it’s not that simple.
The unemployed young people Workskil Australia assists, many of which come from disadvantaged backgrounds, face specific social and economic challenges that are often difficult to overcome.
The youth unemployment rate for 15 to 24-year-olds across the region is nearing 22 per cent, which is the highest in the state.
There’s a lack of entry-level positions for unskilled jobseekers with regional areas seeing some of the toughest conditions in generations.
However, in most instances, jobseekers have an overwhelming desire to contribute to their community in some way. They don’t want to be unemployed. They want a hand up, not a hand out.
While it is difficult, there are opportunities out there.
Programs such as Work for the Dole and Transition to Work help jobseekers gain hands-on experience and develop core skills to make them work ready.
Young people undertaking vocational training at school generally have good technical skills but can be let down by their soft skills, like how to answer a telephone professionally.
They may also be unfamiliar with how to operate in a professional workplace setting.
Entering the workforce can be a daunting task so we encourage young people to reach out for assistance.
In most cases employers will hire jobseekers who can demonstrate reliability, enthusiasm, honesty and a willingness to learn.
These are necessary skills that can also be taught.
There is work out there for young people, they just need to know where to look.
Despite tough economic conditions the retail, food and hospitality sectors are all employing.
Employment programs can help jobseekers identify these vacancies, and then prepare them for the work and then connect them with the opportunities.
The main challenge is to find employers who are willing to give young people a go.
There are great examples of national businesses doing it already, however there’s always a need for more.
Employers are a key part of the equation, so we call on more organisations to get involved with employment programs.
The more organisations that engage with jobseekers, the more the community as a whole stand to benefit.
The following are some practical tips and advice to support young people to gain employment.
Firstly, seek help. You can contact an employment services provider if you’re looking for work.
Also, be confident and prove that you’re up to the task by conducting yourself professionally. It’s also important to learn new skills and be open to learning – often the skills required can be learned on the job.
Be prepared by doing your research on the organisation you’re applying with and lastly, be committed because the more effort you put in, the more you’ll get out.