Looking for a job in the Morning Bulletin My Career section.
Looking for a job in the Morning Bulletin My Career section. Chris Ison

Teen jobless facing risks

UNEMPLOYED teens need to be "caught" within six months of beginning their job search, or they risk a downward spiral of depression, falling self-worth and fear of job interviews, the co-ordinator of a targeted job search campaign says.

The R U Serious? youth job drive is aiming to place 30 teenagers in jobs on the Sunshine Coast by mid-August. So far, the tally is up around eight.

project co-ordinator Clare Edwards is calling for employers who have vacancies to let them be known, so the region's shocking youth unemployment rate could be addressed.

"We still need more vacancies at that entry level, where experience isn't that necessary," Ms Edwards said.

"Years ago, it was the done thing to take on a teenager and train them up as your business grows.

"The pressure on businesses today, to be up and running so quickly, (means) they often don't have the time to train up a young person - that's one of the challenges."

The unemployment rate locally in May for the 15-19 age bracket is a sobering 48.1%.

Ms Edwards said research showed those teens who were unemployed for longer than six months could very easily fall into deep discouragement.

"Within that first year of unemployment, I think if they don't find something within six months, they tend to come way down, depressed. They fear going to job interviews."

It was important, she said, that industry and community helped the job seekers build resilience to withstand those hardships.

"We need to get access to the employed in the first six months of being unemployed, before they go down that downward spiral."

Ted O'Brien, the LNP's candidate for Fairfax, said unemployment was one of the top issues raised during his doorknocking.

The R U Serious? program is federally funded and operated by Queensland Youth Industry Links and Sunshine Coast Youth Partnerships. Contact them at rus@sunshinecoastyouth.com.