O'Connor hears of job woes in North

Salvation Army captains Kevin Lumb and Craig Wood, Salvation Army Employment Plus regional employment manager Melissa Smyth, team leader Tasmanian social programs unit North Anita Reeve, state Labor deputy leader Michelle O'Byrne, and opposition employment services spokesman Brendan O'Connor talk to volunteer John. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

Salvation Army captains Kevin Lumb and Craig Wood, Salvation Army Employment Plus regional employment manager Melissa Smyth, team leader Tasmanian social programs unit North Anita Reeve, state Labor deputy leader Michelle O'Byrne, and opposition employment services spokesman Brendan O'Connor talk to volunteer John. Picture: PAUL SCAMBLER

CHARITIES and job service providers face a difficult year with high demand if the federal budget is passed as is, says federal opposition employment services spokesman Brendan O'Connor.

Mr O'Connor visited Launceston and the North- West yesterday to talk to services and its clients about the budget's impact on them.

Launceston Salvation Army volunteer "John" shared his story with the visiting MP.

At 50, John found himself out of work and has struggled to gain full-time employment in the eight years since, despite having held numerous jobs over decades that grew his skills and experience.

He said he had found solace in volunteer work with the Salvation Army four to five days a week, and a part-time job.

"Before that, I was constantly hitting a wall that I couldn't get through," John said.

Mr O'Connor said the federal government needed to consult more and talk to job, education and training providers about the impact its budget might have on organisations like the Salvation Army and the ability for people to find work.

He said unemployed middle-aged men and youth would be particularly affected by the budget.

"Young people trying to find work for the first time have great difficulties and that's why you have parts of Northern Tasmania with a youth unemployment figure north of 20 per cent," he said.

"There needs to be a greater effort to recognise the skills required for young people."

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic said Australia's gross debt would have reached $667billion if the government had not taken action in the budget.

"Mr O'Connor is all scare and no solutions," he said.

"Jobs are best created when our economy is sound and when debt and spending are under control.

"That's when business has increased confidence to invest."

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop