Tuesday, 9 August 2022

    Tas govt urged to upskill young

    Hobart university student Angelica Willis, 20, is one of many young Tasmanians staring down the possibility of long-term unemployment, ABC News reports.

    Ms Willis moved to Hobart from Ulverstone, in the state’s north-west, more than a year ago to attend university.

    Since arriving she has been unable to find a job, and is struggling to pay her rent and bills on Centrelink payments.

    “Last year and at the beginning of this year I probably applied for like 50 [jobs] a month,” Ms Willis said.

    Ms Willis said she would welcome the opportunity to continue her studies aided by additional government incentives, with the job market expected to continue to be difficult to crack into.

    Tasmania has historically seen some of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the country.

    Coupled with the coronavirus pandemic, the University of Tasmania researchers Maria Yanotti and Joaquin Vespignani estimate the state’s youth unemployment rate could reach as high as 20 per cent by the end of this year — because a large share of the state’s younger workers were employed in tourism and hospitality.

    The researchers have recommended the State Government consider providing additional incentives, such as income support, for young people to upskill and attain higher levels of education “in an unprecedented period of high youth unemployment, expected to ease only in 2022”.

    Dr Yanotti said there were about 60,000 young Tasmanians aged between 15 and 24, so 20 per cent unemployment would be a significant number.

    “What we argue is that the incentives for young Tasmanians to engage in upskilling should be higher, particularly at this time when there’s not many jobs in the market,” she said.

    The researchers have recommended young unemployed Tasmanians, who traditionally do not engage in tertiary education, be paid to undertake a full-time course of between six months and three years at university or TAFE.

    They propose a taxpayer-subsidised income of $20,000 to $30,000 annually for participants.


    Tasmanian Government urged to pay young unemployed to upskill during coronavirus pandemic (ABC News)


    Angelica Willis moved to Hobart from Ulverstone more than a year ago to attend university.(ABC News: Alexandra Humphries)