Skill NSW for the future and tackle youth unemployment

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The Issue

New South Wales is Australia’s Number 1 economy and has the lowest unemployment rate of any state.

Mission accomplished? Not quite. There is more that needs to be done to address youth unemployment. Some regional areas of NSW are experiencing youth unemployment rates in excess of 20%.

Despite this, more than half of employers in NSW say they are experiencing skill shortages. Sadly more often than not young jobseekers don’t have the training or skills to secure these opportunities.

The need for skilled workers in NSW will become even more urgent as the state embarks on a period of record investment in infrastructure. The next four years will see in the order of $87 billion invested in significant state infrastructure including: new hospitals; schools; airports; and roads across the state.

This investment provides a once in a generation opportunity to train our future labour force and importantly kick-start the careers of thousands of young NSW jobseekers.

For NSW to stay Number 1, we must do more to assist the next generation get the training they need to secure meaningful employment.

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Our Plan

To address these issues, we need to improve the delivery of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and provide more flexible pathways that promote the value, importance and opportunities provided by trades training.

That’s why the NSW Business Chamber is calling on our political leaders to adopt the following key measures:

  • Deliver 20,000 school based apprenticeships and traineeships over the next 4 years.
  • Establish a new $100 million Youth Re-engagement Fund to get young people back into training or into work.
  • Fund pilot career advice hubs providing contemporary industry careers advice to school students.
  • TAFE 2.0 – to provide: improved enrolment processes; streamlined students assessments; more contemporary course content addressing key skill requirements; and support for a complementary private Registered Training Organisation (RTO) network.
  • Build another vocational training college to meet demand in Western Sydney.

Providing the skills and training necessary to overcome barriers to securing employment is key to Keeping NSW Number 1.

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