Unemployment fears spark new bakery opening
A CATTLE-farming mother and father have opened a bakery out of fear for their teenage son's future job prospects.
Bororen's Caroline and Rodney Ferris and their son Clinton opened the Boyne Bakery last week with the vision the 16-year-old to one day be take over.
With Clinton's little interest in continuing in the family footsteps in farming, Mrs Ferris worried about the employment opportunities in the region for him.
"I was worried about the future for my child, I wanted him to have a guaranteed job and I thought an apprenticeship at a bakery would be great," Mrs Ferris said.
Mrs Ferris was a regular customer at the former Boyne Bakery, located at the same spot, which closed down late last year.
Making the decision to quit her job at the Tannum Sands Hotel and venture into business ownership, Mrs Ferris had a "rude shock" after she advertised for their first jobs.
More than 100 people applied for the qualified baker position, the majority of whom had no experience.
"I think I've got the resumes of three-quarters of the town, which is sad because everyone's looking for a job," she said.
"It does make me feel better about buying this for Clinton, because he'd be in the same position.
"Every day that we've been open I've had more applications come in, people just want a job."
According to the latest Labour Market Information Portal survey, the Fitzroy region - which includes Gladstone and Rockhampton - had an unemployment rate of 6.7per cent.
It means Fitzroy's unemployment is higher than Mackay (4.4 per cent), Wide Bay (6.4per cent), the Darling Downs (5.1 per cent) and Cairns (6 per cent).
Mrs Ferris said the bakery would have a traditional style, with handmade bread from their baker, who is from Brisbane.
She hoped to have a "soft opening" but during their first two days they had a constant stream of customers filing in for pies and bread.
On its first day of opening the bakery sold out of bread and on day two they sold 75 loaves.