CFMEU: Stop regional 457 visas to help young jobless

THERE must be a curbing of international labour while so much of Australia is grappling with a youth jobless crisis, according to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.

The union has used ABS figures to calculate what it considers the 30 regions with the highest youth unemployment.

Queensland's Wide Bay, Ipswich, Darling Downs and outback regions all have youth unemployment above 16%.

In New South Wales, the Mid North Coast has a young jobless rate almost hitting 19%, or roughly one-in-five.

Youth unemployment covers those searching for work between the ages of 15 and 24.

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CFMEU national secretary Michael O'Connor said the youth unemployment rates nationally were at their highest in 13 years.

"And in many regions the picture is even bleaker," he said.

"There are 30 regions of the country where youth unemployment is at over 15 per cent - a situation that is simply unacceptable.

"Yet the Government is making things impossible for young jobseekers by allowing employers easier access to exploited overseas labour.

"They are planning to expand the 457 Visa program by watering down the requirement on employers to seek locally qualified workers first, and create a designated skilled migration zone in the Northern Territory - with more regions likely to follow.

"It is bad enough that the Government is introducing punitive welfare measures for young jobseekers, making education unaffordable for all but the children of the very wealthy, and has no plan to create new jobs or support existing industries."

30 Highest Youth Unemployment regions, with APN regions in bold

Region

State

U/E Rate 15-24 year olds %

South Australia - Outback

SA

29.8

Tasmania - South East

TAS

26.7

Shepparton

VIC

25.3

Townsville

QLD

22.5

Mornington Peninsula

VIC

20.7

Launceston and North East

TAS

20.6

Cairns

QLD

20.2

Richmond - Tweed

NSW

19.8

Hume

VIC

19.8

South Australia - South East

SA

19.5

Mid North Coast

NSW

18.9

Bendigo

VIC

18.8

Illawarra

NSW

18.7

Wide Bay

QLD

18.7

Northern Territory - Outback

NT

18.6

Geelong

VIC

18.2

Brisbane - South

QLD

18.2

Adelaide - North

SA

18.2

Queensland - Outback

QLD

17.8

Ipswich

QLD

17.7

Melbourne - South East

VIC

17.6

Melbourne - West

VIC

17.3

Darling Downs - Maranoa

QLD

16.7

Sydney Outer West and Blue Mountains

NSW

16.7

Greater Hobart

TAS

16.6

Sydney - Ryde

NSW

16.6

Gold Coast

QLD

16.5

Logan - Beaudesert

QLD

16.0

Central Coast

NSW

15.8

Victoria - North West

VIC

15.4


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