Heading closer to the State Election the pressure is on Premier Mike Baird to fulfil his promise to grow jobs in regional electorates such as Coffs Harbour.
Heading closer to the State Election the pressure is on Premier Mike Baird to fulfil his promise to grow jobs in regional electorates such as Coffs Harbour. Trevor Veale

Stagnating local jobs growth a Coffs Harbour election issue

EMPLOYMENT in regional centres like Coffs Harbour has been raised as a key State Election issue amid claims there has been zero overall job growth in the bush since March 2011.

Referring to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics jobs figures, the Labor Opposition said the Baird Coalition Government had broken a key pre-election commitment to create 40,000 new regional jobs.

It said two months out from polling day, the ABS report showed there were in fact an extra 16,000 people out of work.

In 2006 the unemployment rate in Coffs Harbour stood at 8.9%.

By 2011 it had fallen to 8.3% but last December, the combined rate for Coffs Harbour and Grafton was 5.6%, according to the Department of Employment.

The NSW Government has recently announced it will make it easier to find a job for at least 240,000 young people through a package of vocational education and apprenticeships.

"The NSW Government has created more than 145,000 new jobs over the last four years and I want to ensure every young person in New South Wales has the skills they need to take up the opportunities that are out there in the fastest growing economy in the country," Premier Mike Baird said.

"The centrepiece of our Reskilling NSW plan is to make it free for 200,000 disadvantaged young people to go to TAFE and other vocational education and training providers - with priority for residents in social housing."

 

WHAT THE LEADERS ARE OFFERING FOR THE REGIONS

Premier Mike Baird

The Government's Reskilling NSW plan would provide:

$48 million for fee-free scholarships for 200,000 concession-eligible 15-30 year olds to undertake government-subsidised vocational education and training certificate courses, with priority given to concession eligible social housing residents.

$27 million for workplace learning for over 40,000 government school students each year who enrol in a vocational education and training course as part of their HSC.

$8 million to provide viable pathways into education, training and employment for young people in regional areas.

Opposition Leader Luke Foley

Since taking up the ALP leadership, Opposition Leader Luke Foley has announced a series of policies designed to boost jobs in regional NSW:

$100 million for TAFE.

Labor's Local Jobs First policy, putting local companies in the driver's seat when it comes to bidding for contracts with the NSW Government.

Tax parity with Victoria for the NSW racing and venues industries.

Protecting newsagents as the primary distributor of NSW lottery products.