Council responds to “alarming” youth unemployment figure

THE City of Ryde will take action to fight local youth unemployment, which has left more than one in ten school leavers out of work.

According to Ryde’s Labor councillors, the latest Census statistics from August, 2016, show 14.7 per cent of Ryde residents aged 15 to 24 years of age are unemployed and there are not enough local jobs to meet demand.

But more current Labour Force Survey data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, available on NSW Parliament website, showed the youth unemployment rate had eased to 9.9 per cent in mid-January, this year.

The council’s action followed a plea from Ryde Young Citizen of the Year Rhett Prado to urgently work to reduce the statistic.

Mr Prado addressed last month’s council meeting, in support of a motion by Labor councillor, Dr Peter Kim, aimed at tackling local youth unemployment.”

“Youth unemployment and underemployment is an alarming issue facing the community of Ryde,” he said.

“With housing prices pushing up the cost of living, Ryde’s younger citizens are finding it harder to make ends meet.”

The City of Ryde has an intern program to support young workers as well as a partnership project with the University of Technology for newly qualified engineers will now investigate opportunities to expand its current intern program.

“Providing more opportunities for local graduates and apprentices to gain vital work experience will provide a great stepping stone for those struggling to find work,” Clr Laxale said.

“Expanding the Council’s intern program is just one initiative and I will be working with Councillors and staff over the next year to try and identify ways in which we can address youth unemployment in the City of Ryde.”

Bennelong MP John Alexander has been a strong advocate for creating job opportunities for young, unemployed locals but Mayor Laxale wants a greater effort.

“More needs to be done at all levels of government to assist young people in finding employment opportunities,” he said.