Campaspe youth unemployment to worsen

By Ivy Jensen

YOUTH unemployment is expected to worsen in the Echuca and district region amid the fallout of COVID-19.

A recent analysis by the Grattan Institute has revealed the Farrer and Nicholls electorates estimated to have lost more than eight and seven per cent of jobs respectively since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Campaspe Cohuna Local Learning Employment Network executive officer Anne Trickey said she expected many young people, including those working in hospitality, tourism and some retail, had lost their jobs in the past few months.

“Some have access to JobKeeper, but some do not qualify,” she said.

Ms Trickey said based on the impacts of the global financial crisis, young people were more likely to lose their employment, and least likely to be re-employed during the recovery.

“We already have high youth unemployment and we expect this to increase in the next few months,” she said.

“So we are concerned about the employment prospects for young people who want to enter the workforce.

“If they can’t enter the workforce, or are unemployed for a length of time, there are long-lasting impacts.

“While there are impacts for people of all ages, if you can’t make that transition from education to employment, then the disadvantage can compound for the rest of your life.”

Ms Trickey said investing in young people was an investment in our future workforce.

“We need young people to enter the workforce, build skills and be our future,” she said.

“Local economies are critical to young people’s understanding of work and belief in what is possible.

“Many young people have coped well with the change to remote learning.

“They have adapted to online classes and self-managed their time and learning. They have developed valuable skills for their working lives.

“That is an asset that local employers can benefit from.

“It would be good to see local employers, especially in tourism, hospitality and retail, employ young people when visitors start coming to Echuca again and through the summer season.”