’Extremely concerning’: Job losses hit hard in Kyogle
KYOGLE councillor Hayden Doolan says youth in regional NSW and his LGA will continue to struggle post COVID-19, but he has a plan to tackle it.
On top of offering his own personal support services to Kyogle youth, the 26-year-old plans to put a motion to council to ask them lobby the state and federal governments to provide more employment resources ‒ such as apprentices - to get youth back on their feet.
Cr Doolan said he knows of many young people laid off by local businesses hit by restrictions because of COVID-19 and he was watching them struggle.
'It's extremely concerning … the economy has slowed down to nothing in Kyogle, and we've got no employment for young people," he said.
"The youth I've spoken to are worried about their employment status.
"They are wondering if they will be able to return to work, if they will find a job, or if they even have a job to go back to. The support is not there, which is really sad."
He said all youth he'd spoken to wanted to work.
"It's quite degrading for the young people who have had to go to the dole or JobSeeker, they've lost a lot of pride," Cr Doolan said.
"One young person said they felt like they were a burden on society.
"You would lose motivation, hit the depression - I don't want to see that happen."
While Kyogle businesses have reopened and restrictions have eased, Cr Doolan said the smaller businesses were still running on skeleton staff and could not afford to put employees back on.
"There will be a lot of young people out of a job," he said.
He urged local young people to reach out and talk to him if they were struggling or utilise the existing support networks available.
"I am offering one-on-one sessions through Skype and Zoom to support youth and I will continue to do that once COVID is through," he said.
"I want them to know they are not in this alone."
Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland said while she supports Cr Doolans enthusiasm for helping youth, particulary during this crisis, she wanted him to look at the bigger picture.
"I think it's important he engages with the Chamber of Commerce, the local small business industry and Kyogle Councillors, to workshop this issue and try and identify solutions," Cr Mulholland said.
To contact Cr Doolan call 0402 097 185 or via Facebook here: Hayden Doolan.