ACTU President Ged Kearney.
ACTU President Ged Kearney. DEAN LEWINS

21.6% youth unemployment crisis 'must be addressed'

THE ACTU has come out with damning figures on youth unemployment for those on the North Coast.

It is calling for the next government to address the crisis on the North Coast which has left 21.6% of young people without a job.

"New South Wales' state-wide youth unemployment rate of just over 11% doesn't tell the full story of the endemic joblessness on the North Coast, where so many young people are left without work," ACTU president Ged Kearney said.

"The Abbott/Turnbull Government has presided over the lowest wage growth in 18 years, the decoupling of productivity and wage growth and the highest levels of inequality in 75 years.

"People are working harder than ever for less pay, and are desperately trying to find extra work to make up the shortfall while they watch the richest in our society continue to get preferential treatment."

Mr Kearney said the Turnbull Government's proposal to solve the rampant youth unemployment is by offering young people as free labour to for-profit businesses, but he said the PaTH program also offers no recognised qualification or meaningful training in return.

"With days to go until the election, this is still all they have to offer as a solution to this huge problem," he said.

"Alternatively, the policies put forward by the ALP aim to help young people get qualifications through apprenticeships and TAFE and give them work through new requirements for use of apprentices on government projects.

"The ALP has also proposed a review of the 457 visa system to make sure that vacancies are filled by local workers before people are brought in from overseas."