BENDIGO organisations this week had the chance to share local experiences as part of national research into youth unemployment and underemployment.

The work is being undertaken by the National Youth Commission into Youth Employment and Transition, whose findings from discussions across the country will inform a policy reform agenda to be taken to the Council of Australian Governments.

Bendigo Senior Secondary College, Be Bendigo, Bendigo Youth Council and Access Australia were among those who spoke to commissioners.

Commissioner Finbar Piper said Bendigo was a stop on the research gathering tour to ensure views of all areas are included in the final report.

“We’re finding that the experience of young people across the country is different depending on what state and in metro or regional or rural,” he said.

The youth unemployment rate in Bendigo sits at 18.3 per cent, more than four times the city’s overall unemployment rate of 4.29 per cent. Nationally, youth unemployment sits at 11.9 per cent.

“That high unemployment rate is one of the reasons why this inquiry nationally is happening, and why we’re here in Bendigo trying to uncover and investigate why, what are the reasons, what is being done about it, and what is being missed in that picture,” Commissioner Piper said.

Colleen Travers from Bendigo Headspace presented on the organisation’s individual placement support program, and said it was a good opportunity to put forward young people’s points of view.

“I really hope that the commissioners take all of this on board and that it’s heard in the final report,“ she said.

Written submissions to the commission can also be submitted online until November 30 at www.nycinquiry.org.au/get-involved/