Fiona Phillips


The latest figures from the Department of Employment’s Labour Market Information Portal, released 29th June 2017, for May 2017, show the Shoalhaven’s Youth Unemployment Rate has increased to 25.4%. 

The Shoalhaven’s Youth Unemployment Rate is the highest youth unemployment rate in NSW and has now risen to the second highest youth unemployment rate in Australia, only behind Outback Queensland.

“It is extremely disappointing that under Ann Sudmalis and her Liberal Government that Youth Unemployment has skyrocketed in the Shoalhaven. We are now at the stage where one in four young people cannot find a job”, Fiona said. 

“We’ve seen a 21 per cent decline in apprenticeships from 2013-2016 under Ann Sudmalis and her Liberal Government”, Fiona continued. 

“At the same time we’ve seen pre-apprenticeships under the Liberals axed from our local TAFE”, Fiona said. 

“The Liberal Government should hang their heads in shame for failing to guarantee the public funding of TAFE and continuing on with their TAFE privatisation agenda which is hurting our local young people”, Fiona continued. 

“If that’s not bad enough, it is then beyond belief, shameful and totally disgraceful that our region has been ignored yet again - on Thursday, while the Liberal NSW Government announced a $65 million program to “target regions with the highest youth unemployment rates” that the Shoalhaven was left out of that program. Do we need any more evidence that the Liberal Government is completely out of touch and has no regard for the high rate of youth unemployment in the Shoalhaven? Do we need any more evidence that local Liberal MP’s have been asleep at the wheel over youth unemployment?” 

“I am proud that Labor will reverse Malcolm Turnbull’s $600 million cuts to skills and training and invest in TAFE and apprenticeships by: 

  1. Investing an additional $637.6 million into TAFE and vocational education  - reversing the government’s 2017 budget cuts in full
  2. Guaranteeing at least two thirds of public vocational education funding for TAFE
  3. Investing in a new $100 million Building TAFE for the Future Fund – to re-establish TAFE facilities in regional communities with a focus on high youth unemployment areas, meet local industry needs and support teaching for the digital economy
  4. Setting a target of one in ten apprentices on all Commonwealth priority projects and major Government Business Enterprise projects.
  5. Investing in pre-apprentice programs – preparing up to 10,000 young jobseekers to start an apprenticeship.
  6. Establishing an Advanced Entry Adult Apprenticeships program – to fast-track apprenticeships for up to 20,000 people facing redundancy or whose jobs have been lost

This will reverse the decline in TAFE and apprentice programs. Only Labor will provide more opportunity for local young people in Gilmore to gain the skills they need to get good quality jobs”, Fiona concluded.

A fact sheet is available here.