Youth unemployment a problem in the Grafton area.
Youth unemployment a problem in the Grafton area. Michaela O'Neill

Grafton suffering from youth unemployment

SINCE 2014, national youth employment rates have been suffering, but few regions are suffering greater than the Grafton area. Joblessness among Australian youth aged 15-24 is currently just above 12 per cent while Grafton's is a whopping 22.5 per cent.

In response to this issue, Apprenticeship Support Australia has commissioned the second Skillsroad Youth Census. Supported by the NSW Business Chamber and wider business chamber movement, the Skillsroad 2018 Youth Census is designed to illuminate the hopes, fears and general attitudes of Australian young people as they transition from school to the workforce, particularly of those in regional areas.

In 2017, over 13,000 Australian youth completed the survey - including more than 6000 from NSW - reporting below-average 'life satisfaction' and sense of wellbeing, as well as significant levels of stress and uncertainty about choosing career pathways. In light of these results, the 2018 Census aims to reach as many young people as possible to build on existing knowledge from last year's report, and delving deeper into the wellbeing of young Australians by examining the specific areas in which they are struggling.

"This census comes at a critical time for young people in ... Grafton, who are facing an employment crisis," Jeff Cooke, manager of ASA's North Coast NSW branch, said.

"As the only survey exploring youth employment and wellbeing on this scale, the Skillsroad 2018 Youth Census can provide unprecedented, evidence-based insights for our schools, parents and business into the necessary tools required to properly support our young people."

The survey will also further interrogate the specific concerns that surround Australian youth's entry into the workforce, motivations behind career choice and expectations of work, and the disparity between attitudes across different demographics and regions throughout the country.

The Skillsroad Youth Census is open to all Australians aged 15-24 and can be accessed at: