The need to combat youth unemployment

THE Mid North Coast has the second highest rate of youth unemployment in the state, according to the latest Brotherhood of St Laurence figures.

As we edge closer to determining the 44th Federal Parliament, the recent statistics have sparked new concerns the effectiveness of government policies to combat the issue.

The most recent Brotherhood of St Laurence figures statistics have sparked new concerns the effectiveness of government policies to combat the issue.

Valla Beach, Bowraville and Nambucca Heads are among towns within the top 20 postcodes in the region with the highest rates.

Executive officer at Youth Directions, Liz Wilkins said the figures reflect the need to re-look at strategies to address the long-time issue.

"It's not a small, easy to fix problem. There are too many short term, politically expedient responses to this issue," Ms Wilkins said.

"It's just like putting a band-aid on a gaping wound."

Ms Wilkins said the impacts of youth unemployment are diverse.

"Anecdotally, there are flow on effects for youth mental health, youth homelessness, it feeds into a whole lack of hope for a lot of young people and without a mechanism to find a meaningful path for themselves, there's not going any where good."

Developing long-term programs is what Ms Wilkins believes is an effective solution to reduce the rate.

"Three and four year programs aren't going to turn this issue around," she said.

"We need a bipartisan commitment, both sides of government need to agree to a long term strategy."

Topics:  coffs harbour youth unemployment

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