JOBS for the youth of Ipswich will be a key plank of the Labor Party when it contests the next state election.
The youth unemployment rate in Ipswich hit 18% earlier this year and shadow treasurer Curtis Pitt said his party had policies in place to address the crisis.
Mr Pitt was joined by Labor's candidates for Ipswich and Ipswich West, Jennifer Howard and Cr Jim Madden, last week to address the issues the city faces
Mr Pitt pointed to Labor's Get Ready for Work policy and plans for reinstituting the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program as key initiatives.
"When you look at youth unemployment it is important to note that if you have a young person that falls out of the job market or never gets into it in the first place, unless they can have some corrective action they may well fall into that spiral of being unemployed for many years to come," he said.
"We have to make sure our school leavers come into positions of training or some form of skilling up to make sure they have more opportunities to reach their potential.
"You have to question this government's priorities, a government that cut Skilling Queenslanders for Work, a program that was supporting 27,000 Queenslanders each year...and a program that for every $1 spent on it was returning $8 to the state."
Mr Pitt said Get Ready for Work was "a very important program that helps school leavers".
"We want to make sure we have people going from school into the workforce," he said.
"We have made a commitment that we will bring back Skilling Queenslanders for Work. It is part of our overall plan for jobs in Queensland."
Ms Howard said the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program was a success on many fronts.
"One of the things that is an impediment to young people getting a job is not having a driver's licence, and the driving mentor program rolled out through Skilling Queenslanders for Work program through the PCYC was a fabulous program," she said.
"It saw a lot of people get licences, which is one of the main factors in young people getting work."
Mr Madden said securing the future of TAFE colleges was also a priority for Labor.
"As far as the TAFE college system is concerned, this is the backbone of our vocational training in Queensland," he said.
"If we want to have people with the necessary skills to grow our economy and work in our mining sector, then we need to have TAFE college courses available to them at reasonable rates.
"We can't have this system where they (the government) are cutting courses, cutting funding and potentially closing TAFE colleges. Almost half of the TAFE colleges in Queensland are under threat of closure."
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