Plea for strategy to tackle long-term unemployment

ALMOST half of the state's long- term unemployed have been out of work for 102 consecutive weeks or more, according to the state's peak welfare group.

The Tasmanian Council of Social Service wants the new elected government to develop a strategy to tackle the problem of long-term unemployment.

Chief executive Tony Reidy welcomed commitments from the major parties to assist young people, migrants and those with disabilities into employment, but urged any new government to have a clear focus on a long-term plan.

"The cycle of exclusion from employment can be broken through programs that provide opportunities for workplace-based internships, mentorships and volunteering, and work readiness programs," Mr Reidy said.

He said a third of people who had been out of work for more than a year were over the age of 45.

"We need to ensure there is a range of training and workforce experience opportunities for unemployed Tasmanians of all ages.

"There are people in their mid-40s and 50s who have been laid off from jobs as particular industries decline and they can struggle to get back into the workforce."

Mr Reidy said poor education levels and skills associated with declining industries were factors that made it more difficult for older job-seekers to find work.

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