Youth aim to leave 'for work options'

ALMOST one-third of respondents to a youth survey said they wanted to leave Tasmania because they would like to travel but they also had concerns about future employment and study options, according to a report released yesterday.

The Youth Network of Tasmania report found that 32 per cent wanted to leave, but the majority (40 per cent) wanted to leave and return when they were older.

Seventeen per cent said they would stay and 11 per cent said they were unsure or had not thought about it before.

The report's 13 key findings were gathered from almost 450 12 to 25-year-old Tasmanians at the Tasmanian Youth Forum's "should I stay or should I go" event in October, as well as an online survey.

Forum policy and project officer Tegan Pearce said the findings weren't so disparaging for the state and at the end of the forum, more participants were likely to stay once a range of different study or work options had been highlighted to them.

"Although the majority of young people indicated that they wanted to leave Tasmania, it is promising that many of them say they would return as they value the lifestyle here," she said.

Ms Pearce said the key findings demonstrated that young people valued the environment and community aspect of the state.

Hannah Bodell, 20, of Launceston, is set to move to Melbourne next year to study a degree in creative arts at LaTrobe University, a course not offered in Tasmania.

"The survey results are very true - part of it is because you hear people who live on the mainland and it's seen as adventurous," Ms Bodell said.

"Some people get convinced it's boring here. Launceston is a great place to grow up, it's a great place to retire, but it's not so great in between."

Bushby Property Group personal assistant Bridie Coert, 20, of Launceston, chose not to leave and said she'd never had a problem finding a job.

"I really think it's what you make it," she said.

Community Development Minister Cassy O'Connor said it was great to see young people contributing to the issue in the state, and the report provided a clearer picture of what influenced their decisions to go.

"It's important that we recognise many young people will want to travel and experience life outside Tasmania," Ms O'Connor said.

"Rather than see this as a negative, we can see it as a positive, so long as they bring their new skills and commitment back home."

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