Jobs creation push for Melbourne’s west – Star Weekly

Extract from an article by Sumeyya Ilanbey

A long-term strategy for the creation of jobs in emerging industries in Melbourne’s west has been launched.

The state government last Friday announced $80,000 to fund a strategy driven by the Melbourne’s West – Future Workforce report.

Industry and Employment Minister Wade Noonan said a new regional taskforce, including members from West of Melbourne Economic Development Alliance, Western Melbourne Regional Development Australia, Victoria University and local councils, had been formed to spearhead the strategy.

“The west is going from strength to strength, but we need a long-term plan for boosting jobs and capitalising on growth,” he said. “Job creation does not happen by accident.”

The report says local employers need more workers with higher numeracy and literacy, as well as greater customer service, science, technology, engineering and maths skills.

Meanwhile, a Brotherhood of St Laurence research report revealed a dearth of public transport options, and poor connections between neighbouring suburbs, was as a key reason for young people in Melton being unable to find jobs.

The analysis revealed transport problems are a barrier to work for a larger proportion of unemployed young people (25.1 per cent) than of 25-54 year olds (14.8 per cent) or the 55-plus group (eight per cent).

The research also found 61 per cent of unemployed young people didn’t have drivers licences, compared with 20 per cent of 25-54 year olds and one per cent of those over 55.

Young people living in the outer suburbs, or regional and rural areas, are particularly disadvantaged as public transport options are limited and transport connectivity is poor, according to Brotherhood of St Laurence’s Farah Farouque.

“To create opportunities for young people, we need to have the means for them to access these opportunities,” she said.

“Transport is very critical to dealing with problems of youth unemployment.

“[It’s] not one of those issues that could be solved overnight.

“We need to consider the public transport options and that’s gone a bit under the radar.”

A recent Australia’s Youth Unemployment Hotspots: Snapshot revealed youth unemployment in parts of Melton was as high as 17.3 per cent…(continues)

SOURCE: Sumeyya Ilanbey, “Jobs creation push for Melbourne’s west”, Star Weekly, 28 Nov 2016

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