A report by the Brotherhood of St Laurence has revealed that the Bendigo region has the highest rate of youth unemployment in Victoria.
The report shows 18.3 per cent of young people in the Bendigo, Heathcote, Castlemaine, Boort and Wedderburn areas are unemployed according to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.
Young people are defined as being aged 15 to 24 years, with 58,200 unemployed Victorians in this age group as of December 2018.
The reports states that Australia’s youth unemployment rate is stagnating at levels noted in the early 2000s, despite years of economic growth.
The national youth unemployment rate is 11.2 per cent, more than twice the overall unemployment rate of five per cent.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence’s executive director Conny Lenneberg has challenged policymakers to give Australia’s young people a fair go.
“Young people come out of education and training with high hopes and aspirations for independence,” Ms Lenneberg said.
CVGT Australia chief executive officer Paul Green said that in the second half of last year, there were as many as 25 apprenticeship and traineeship vacancies in Bendigo that his organisation struggled to attract interest for.
Apprenticeships in aged care, building, construction, plumbing and electrical as well as business administration and roles in health were some of the positions on offer.
“I think there are a lot of opportunities in Bendigo for young people,” Mr Green said.
“Young people are far more particular about the career they want and are not necessarily going to take second best or the first thing that comes along,” he said.
The national youth unemployment rate is highest in the outback region of Queensland, where more than one in four (25.7 per cent) people are unable to obtain work.
Of the 20 ‘hotspots’ mapped by the Brotherhood in their report, the Shepparton region is the second worst for youth unemployment in Victoria at 17.5 per cent, followed by Melbourne’s west, which includes Werribee and Footscray at 15.5 per cent.