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Career opportunities open for Newcastle youth

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City of Newcastle is continuing its commitment to create 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 council this month, while a 12-month partnership with Career Links to provide employment and workplace learning prospects 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% 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 vow to maintaining and expanding opportunities for local youngsters.

“In what is one of the most challenging periods for young people looking for work, we’re leading the way to support them,” she explained.

“By prioritising trainee, apprenticeship and graduate positions, we’re 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 starting a full-time 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 started a painting apprenticeship with City of Newcastle as part of the latest intake.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to begin an apprenticeship with council, especially at a time when many people my age are struggling to find work,” she said.

“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.

“Also, I enjoy being a member of my team.”

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 initiative’s focus is to build relationships 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.

They’ll foster interventions suitable for youngsters in the Newcastle area in need of assistance, with special attention given to people transitioning from school to work and particularly vulnerable groups.

More information can be found on the Career Links website www.careerlinks.nsw.edu.au

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