City of Newcastle is continuing its commitment to creating career opportunities for Newcastle’s youth in response to high unemployment rates caused by COVID-19.
Eighteen new trainees, apprentices and university graduates have joined City of Newcastle this month, while a 12-month partnership with Career Links to provide employment and workplace learning opportunities for young people helps fulfil a pledge made as part of the City Taskforce’s Youth Employment Charter.
The COVID-19 economic crisis has disproportionately impacted 18-to-25-year-olds, driving the Hunter’s youth unemployment rate to more than 20 per cent last year, significantly higher than the state’s average.
Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said the COVID-19 City Taskforce, led by City of Newcastle and comprising of 17 local leaders, developed a Youth Employment Charter calling on local organisations to affirm their commitment to maintaining and expanding opportunities for local young people.
“In what is one of the most challenging periods for young people looking for work, City of Newcastle is leading the way in supporting youth employment opportunities and pathways to careers,” Cr Nelmes said.
“By prioritising trainee, apprenticeship, and graduate positions we are ensuring there are quality early career opportunities for young people available in Newcastle.
“City of Newcastle fosters an environment where young staff can learn from experienced professionals. In return these youth employees offer us the passion and enthusiasm that comes with commencing a fulltime work career.
“We’re thrilled to welcome a diverse group of young people who have taken up signwriting, civil construction and horticulture apprenticeships; traineeships in early childhood education and arts administrations as well as engineering and information technology graduate positions – just to name a few. This brings our current number of trainees, graduates and apprentices to 44.”
Twenty-four-year-old Kahli Mortimer has commenced a painting apprenticeship with City of Newcastle as part of the latest intake of apprentices, trainees, and graduates.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to begin an apprenticeship with City of Newcastle, especially at a time when many people my age are struggling to find work. The best part of my job is learning the technical parts of my trade and working in so many different and interesting environments. I can see a career at City of Newcastle because my supervisor supports me to learn and be the best I can be in my job, and I also enjoy being a member of my team,” Ms Mortimer said.
Beyond the recruitment of local youth, City of Newcastle and Career Links have joined forces to establish the Newcastle Youth Industry Partnership Program to deliver on the objectives of the Greater Newcastle Youth Employment Charter at a community level.
The program’s focus is to build partnerships with industry, schools and support services to expand real world employment and workplace learning opportunities for young people.
A range of new programs will provide mentoring, workplace learning, transition support and information-sharing interventions to help build employability skills and wellbeing for vulnerable young people, aged 15 to 25 years.
The programs will foster interventions suitable for young people in the Newcastle in need of assistance, with special attention given to people transitioning from school to work and particularly vulnerable groups.