Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Workforce Participation Ed Husic has visited employment and disability services providers in Footscray and Brunswick to listen to concerns about unemployment across suburban Melbourne.
At meetings with the Member for Gellibrand Tim Watts and Member for Wills Peter Khalil, Mr Husic heard how local jobactive provider Matchworks is breaking down barriers faced by local job seekers.
Despite great work by local job service providers, their job is made tougher by the realisation that more and more people are giving up looking for work because the national job market is so weak.
Labour market participation rates of 64.7 per cent – the lowest in a year – are evidence people are becoming disillusioned with the job seeker process.
The underemployment rate has reached its highest rate on record at 9.3 per cent.
“While jobactive providers like Matchworks are doing great things to help the unemployed become job ready, they can only do so much if the jobs aren’t there to place people in,” Mr Husic said.
“The Turnbull Government doesn’t have a plan for jobs – and its programs to help young unemployed people get work clearly aren’t working.
“They’re also making it harder for Victorians to hold onto work with deliberate decisions taken by the Abbott-Turnbull governments to pull the rug out from underneath the feet of auto manufacturers and local shipbuilding.”
“Melbourne’s West is going through a period of transition. The decisions of the Abbott-Turnbull government have cost the region thousands of manufacturing jobs at Toyota and the Williamstown Shipyards,” Mr Watts said.
“Without an active jobs and training strategy, the already high youth and long-term unemployment rates in Melbourne’s West will only get worse.”
Mr Khalil said: “Thousands of workers in Wills are about to lose their manufacturing jobs, or jobs existing further down the supply chain because of the short-sighted Coalition policy to end support for auto manufacturing in Australia.”
“Policies that retrain and retool workers and provide much needed support for families carefully guiding them through this difficult transition, are essential to the community in Wills and across the nation.”