DRIVING OPPORTUNITY: Bundaberg Motor Group HR manger Alison Norton, general manager Jacqui Morrison-White, yard worker Beau Neilson and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt are all smiles thanks to the government's PaTH program.
DRIVING OPPORTUNITY: Bundaberg Motor Group HR manger Alison Norton, general manager Jacqui Morrison-White, yard worker Beau Neilson and Hinkler MP Keith Pitt are all smiles thanks to the government's PaTH program. Adam Wratten

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt shares tips to help youth find work

KEITH Pitt has a message for the region's young unemployed.

The Hinkler MP urged the jobless not to wait for "the perfect job", but take what came their way and look to build from there.

Figures released last week by Conus Consultancy Services show youth unemployment in the Wide Bay region at 29.6 per cent - one of the highest rates in the country.

Mr Pitt was yesterday promoting a Federal Government initiative, the Youth Jobs PaTH program, which offers employers incentives to trial young workers.

"Take the job in front of you," Mr Pitt said shortly after listening to 21-year-old Beau Neilson talk about how his life had improved since getting a job through the program at Bundaberg Motor Group.

"It's much better to be in employment," Mr Pitt said.

A former employer himself, he said the unemployed should:

 

Be on time

 

Dress appropriately

 

Leave their phone in their bag

 

Be prepared to work a full day

Since its inception the PaTH program has seen 348 trainees, 97 interns and 298 young people hired in Hinkler.

Bundaberg Motor Group general manager Jacqui Morrison-White yesterday praised the program and initiatives like it.

Ms Morrison-White urged all employers to familiarise themselves with the packages available.

With the equivalent of 83 full-time staff on the company books, Ms Morrison-White's business is helping change lives.

Asked if she felt businesses had a responsibility to work with government to tackle the region's high youth unemployment, Ms Morrison-White said: "We do, when you see the number not working. When we see an opportunity, and through programs like this, we do what we can to help."

Meanwhile, Mr Neilson has taken a shine to his new job.

The 21-year-old is one of three interns who went on to paid employment at Bundaberg Motor Group through the Federal Government's PaTh program.

"Mate, I'm cruising - I love it," he said.

"I'm happy here and there's always the opportunity to do other things."

Before this job, Beau spent a few years doing seasonal work on farms. He said having regular work had enabled him to make the most of life.

These days Beau drives a V6 ute and has money to do his favourite activities like fish, camp and attend rodeos.

"I'm happy to be off Centrelink payments," he said.

Not all his former classmates have fared as well as Beau, who takes pride in his work looking after and detailing vehicles in the yard.

Beau said he had previously considered moving to a big city, but didn't think that was the answer and had seen others go to Brisbane and not succeed.



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