Young jobseekers missing out in boom
Young jobseekers missing out in boom

One in four teenagers in some pockets of Perth are jobless.

Research by UnionsWA shows 27 per cent of teens aged 15 to 19 in the south-west metropolitan area, from Applecross to Karnup, who are not studying are unemployed.

This is up from 23 per cent in 2010 and 15 per cent in 2008.

It also exceeds the 20 per cent average across the Perth metropolitan area, which has more than doubled since 2008.

In a staggering reminder of Perth's two-speed economy, the jobless rate across all age groups in WA is only 4.3 per cent.

UnionsWA secretary Sim- one McGurk blamed "offshoring" of major steel fabrication workers for the problem.

She said the trend risked causing a generation of young West Australians to miss out on the training and employment opportunities associated with the boom.

Labor frontbencher Roger Cook said the State and Federal governments needed to work together to bring down the rocketing youth jobless rate, calling the drop-off in work on the Kwinana strip "a tragedy".

"One contractor told me he had 20 apprentices five years ago but now he has five and is just about to lay off two," Mr Cook said.

Teen jobseekers Tristan Smedden, 17, and Aiden Gill, 18, who have been unemployed since graduating from high school in November, had not expected it would take so long to get an apprenticeship.

Mr Gill, of Kwinana, was so keen to line up a post-school job that he started looking for apprenticeships in electrical, welding or boilermaking trades two years ago.

Mr Smedden, of Spearwood, said he had called up to 30 companies for an electrical apprenticeship in the past fortnight alone.

"I want to be an electrician because it's the type of job where you are forever learning new things," he said.

A spokesman for Commerce Minister Simon O'Brien said WA's youth unemployment rate was lower than the national average 26 per cent.

He said onshore resource projects had 70 to 90 per cent local content.

"Of course we are concerned when any young person cannot find a job, we want every young person who wants a job to have one," the spokesman said.

"The bottom line is that if you are looking for work, WA is the best place to be."

The West Australian

Popular videos

Compare & Save

Our Picks

Compare & Save

Follow Us

More from The West