I’ve been speaking to families at my local listening posts who say they are finding it hard to get their school leavers into apprenticeships. And I’m concerned about new ABS figures that show unemployment rates for the Sunshine Coast are up 2.2% to 11%, despite the opening of our new $1.8 billion hospital which has provided 3500 new jobs.
Many regions in Queensland are in the midst of a jobs crisis, with the youth unemployment rate now as high as 40 per cent in Outback Queensland and over 20% in Cairns, Townsville and Wide Bay.
Unfortunately many small businesses are still doing it tough and we’ve seen a net loss of 4,500 local jobs on the Sunshine Coast over the last year. Tragically, we also have about 4,300 Sunshine Coast jobseekers who have simply given up looking for work over the last year.
Hiding behind these statistics we also have a large proportion of Sunshine Coast residents who are employed on a casual part-time basis and may not always get enough hours work to make ends meet.
I’m deeply disturbed by these figures which show that Queensland has continued to lead the nation in job losses under the Palaszczuk Government. We are falling further behind other states and Labor has no plan to address this alarming slide.
The LNP has a comprehensive $100 million package aimed at getting young Queenslanders back into work so we can build a better Queensland.
Our plan includes a $5,000 Queensland Apprenticeship incentive for small business; $500 Tools for Tradies vouchers; a $4,000 Job Start Incentive; together with discounts on Work Cover premiums for small business.
Only the LNP can restore business confidence and get investment flowing to create jobs throughout all of Queensland.