Working hard all day, to get a job
IN ANOTHER attempt to fix their dire financial situation, Lismore husband and wife Tory and Daniel Hardey scoured the 400 jobs on offer at the Centrelink Job Expo yesterday.
The air of desperation that surrounded the expo at Goonellabah’s Sports and Aquatics Centre reflected the Northern Rivers 13.5pc youth unemployment rate which stands 2pc above thenational average.
The Federal Parliamentary Secretary for Employment, Jason Clare, believes this above-average rate is due to the ‘lower than average school attention rates’ in the area.
But this does not pacify Mr Hardey who has become one of the area’s unemployment statistics after his Southern Cross University degree was ‘restructured’ and his job at the Tender Centre let go.
“We didn’t know what we were going to do and things became a lot harder when he lost the job,” Mrs Hardey said.
“Then the house we were renting in Goonellabah was up for sale without us knowing and we had to leave.
“The bond we had on that house did not nearly cover the bond on our new place.”
A year on, and one child later, Mr Hardey is still looking every day for a job.
“He has looked at a few apprenticeships today and it’s nothing to start with, but we are desperate,” Mrs Hardey said.
“We are constantly unable toafford important things for Ty. Even buying nappies one week can put us out.
“There is not one day that goes by that I don’t wish for a break.”
Young people aged between 15-29 make up 18.3pc of Lismore’s population, the biggest demographic in the community which comes with an alarming unemployment rate.
Mr Clare said a few things the Federal Government had planned might change the rate of youth at work.
“The Government is committed to increase the percentage of people who finish school and go on to further education from 75 to 90pc by 2015,” he said.
Page MP Janelle Saffin said the Richmond-Tweed and Clarence Valley regions had employed more than 400 apprentices this summer, up from the 228 last year.