The AMIEU and the Tamworth Regional Council Mayor Col Murray met last week to discuss the New England region’s high youth unemployment figures, with both parties agreeing on the urgent need to take more action to support local kids.
Tamworth and the New England Area represents Australia’s largest multi-species meat processing hub, with more than 2,000 people working to process beef, lamb and poultry every day.
Unfortunately, an over-reliance on temporary migrant workers means that local youth are being ignored for entry-level positions which in the past would have been a perfect starting point for a career in the industry.
The AMIEU has taken a strong stand against meat processing giants like Thomas Foods International, where 80% of its workforce are temporary migrant workers organised through labour hire firms.
“Employers have a moral obligation to hire local workers, especially when youth unemployment is so dangerously high,” said AMIEU Newcastle & Northern NSW Secretary Grant Courtney.
“Hiring local kids returns more money to the community, helps support local families, and helps ensure the long-term success of Tamworth and the New England area.”
Mayor Murray said that the meeting had been productive and that more needed to be done to support local youth who were looking for work.
Big business often says it’s “too hard” to find local workers, or that they “just don’t want to work.” However, in March this year the AMIEU was able to find more than 100 people looking for work on the streets of Tamworth in just a few hours, many of whom have now been given a start at Baiada Poultry.
With youth unemployment in the New England Area sitting at a rate double the national average, urgent work needs to be done to address the problem.
“Both the AMIEU and Mayor Murray want what’s best for New England, and we both agree that a sustainable, long-term future for the region must involve getting local kids into work and keeping them there,” added Grant Courtney.
AMIEU Newcastle & Northern NSW
PH: (02) 4929 5496