With the unemployment rate in Collie increasing over the past 12 months, Federal MP Rick Wilson has put a focus on youth employment in town.
The Turnbull government has invested $750 million towards a youth employment program, PaTH, Prepare, Trial, Hire, which aims to provide unemployed youth with employability skills before placing them in an internship with a local business.
The program has the objective of sustainable long-term employment at the end of the internship.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows Collie's unemployment has increased over the past twelve months from 7.25 per cent to 8.6 per cent.
Almost 100 youth in Collie are eligible for the program and Mr Wilson is urging local businesses to get on board.
He said so far it has been a success with 69 percent of people starting the program transitioning into full-time work.
“I think it's a remarkable figure but in order for it to work we need local businesses in the Collie region to take people on. It’s a really great program for businesses as well as the unemployed person,” said Mr Wilson.
“The situation in Collie is of some concern to me because of some of the redundancies in the coal sector but I want to put a real focus on employment and employment programs in the Collie area.”
To be eligible for the program a person must be aged between 18 – 25 and receiving some form of welfare benefit and have been unemployed for six months or longer.
Interns will come at no cost to a business with $1000 up to $10,000 in grants up for grabs, however a risk assessment must be conducted and there must be a permanent job available at the end of the internship.
Unemployed youth will receive insurance and an incentive of an extra $200 a fortnight on top of their regular welfare payments to complete an internship of between four to 12 weeks for a voluntary 30 – 50 hours per week.
Shire of Collie president Sarah Stanley said that programs like PaTH were important for both parties.
"Programs that allow youth a flexible approach to gain the skills and experience they need to get and keep a job are not only an important pathway for young people, but also a great resource for relevant employers,” Cr Stanley said.
For more information visit https://www.jobs.gov.au/youth-jobs-path.