Students speak out saying Gladstone needs new jobs
THE lack of higher education and jobs in Gladstone is hitting home for even the region's youth.
It's the reason many of them consider moving south, where they believe there is more to offer.
This week grade 12 students spoke up, telling politicians what they see their future looking like, and how the government can help.
Tannum Sands State High School student Louise Krete de Souza is from Brazil. While she's thankful to live in Australia, she wants to know she can get a job and become independent.
"What it all boils down to is we need more jobs," she explained this week.
"If we want to go to university or broaden our horizons then we need money.
"We don't want to rely on our parents because moving out and becoming independent is a natural part of life."
St Stephens Lutheran College grade 12 student Amber Page, 17, admits she doesn't know the ins and outs of government just yet but said making politics more relevant to teenagers and providing better education on politics would assist in securing her future in Australia.
"Especially with university and studying. We just don't really have much knowledge about it and what we are entitled to," she said.
"But I also think, while Australia is a great place to live, Gladstone is an example of a specific area that does not get as many resources made available as big cities.
"It's harder to live once you graduate. A lot of people find it hard to get work and they end up moving away.
A special ARM Newsdesk analysis of Department of Education figures does reveal a gap in school completion rates between Gladstone students and those who live in Brisbane.
Ms Page said she didn't believe it was fair regional areas like Gladstone didn't receive as many resources as the bigger cities do.
"Especially because a lot of courses you can't even do in Gladstone, you have to move away," she said.
"Your options are limited if you want to stay here."
St Stephens' grade 12 student Cara Bosshart said for the government to secure her future, more jobs needed to be brought to regional areas.
"Overall Australia is a good country to live in, but it's the FIFO policies that are making Australia a worse place to live," she said.
"There needs to be more jobs and opportunities provided to locals."
As for her own future? Ms Bosshart hopes to see the government working at relating more to people her age.
"An improvement would be to see university and schooling fees more affordable, and providing the opportunities to people so they can do what they want to do.
"I hope to see the upcoming government focusing on and going out and actually visiting the smaller communities like Gladstone and seeing how they are coping."
THE STATS ON OUR EDUCATION:
1 in 10 Gladstone Year 10 public school students appears to be failing to graduate from Year 12.
Research found that 10.7% of the region's 2013 Year 10 students did not make it into the 2015 Year 12 cohort.
This compares to just over 2% in schools in the Brisbane City Council catchment.