A peak North Coast social advocacy group is urging the Federal Government to reintroduce support services for young unemployed people.
The Northern Rivers Social Development Council (NRSDC) said legislation to make unemployed youth wait six months to be eligible for the dole is stalled in the Senate.
Leading body Council of Social Service of New South Wales (NCOSS) chief executive Tony Davies, said such a policy would hurt regions like the NSW North Coast where there are high youth jobless rates.
He said programs are urgently needed to help young people find work.
“We’ve recently lost the Youth Connections Program which was a great way to help engage young people,” he said. “In particular those who have been educationally disadvantaged.
“What we need to see is a return of programs, to actually give young people the support they need and the skills they need to get ongoing work.”
Mr Davies said the policy would hurt many of the region’s vulnerable young people.
“Unemployment overall is higher in regional areas and for young people in those areas, it’s even harder,” he said.
“We know that Aboriginal people in particular can experience very high rates of unemployment.
“In some communities it can be more than half of young people looking for a job and can’t get work. So overall, it certainly disadvantages regional areas.”
Source: ABC News