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A new plan to address the worryingly high unemployment rates in key regions in NSW such as the Richmond-Tweed area will be launched today that could reap billions of dollars for the economy.

The NSW Council of Social Service (NCOSS) will outline the three-part plan, which would see community, business and government sectors work together to create opportunities for some of the most disadvantaged jobseekers, at a launch in Lismore.

NSW Council of Social Service Deputy CEO John Mikelsons said unemployment caused poverty, affected physical and mental health, reduced life satisfaction and needed a solution sooner rather than later as the impacts were far reaching.

“While NSW has an unemployment rate of 6%, which is below the national average and lower than all other states, unemployment remains a persistent and serious issue in some regions of NSW and the Richmond-Tweed areas is of particular concern with a rate of 8.8%.

“We also know the area has the fourth highest rate of youth unemployment at 17.1% and the Aboriginal unemployment rate for the region is 20.4%, which is significantly above the state average of 16%.

“We need a plan that develops employment opportunities, linked to training and support, to get people into jobs. Currently the opportunities just aren’t there. ”

The plan proposes an investment of $83 million each year for three years across the state that resources local councils and community organisations to work with the most disadvantaged jobseekers to get them into work.

Mr Mikelsons said increasing employment among the most disadvantaged jobseekers would have significant economic benefits to the state.

“When the most disadvantaged in our community are successful, we are all successful.

“Our estimates are that the total effects for the decade subsequent to a project like this completing could be an additional $8.9 billion in Gross State Product and Gross Domestic Product; an additional $2.46 billion in consumption; and an additional $1.64 billion in state tax receipts.

“The implementation of a plan like this would be a win-win for the people of NSW.”

Download the full plan here.


Media Opportunity:

What: Local Job Partnerships launch

When: 10:45am for 11am start – 12pm, Tuesday 1st December 2015

Where: Boardroom, Northern Rivers Social Development Council, 16 Keen St, Lismore

Guest Speakers: Jenny Dowel, Mayor Lismore City Council, John Mikelsons, Acting CEO NCOSS and Naomi Moran YWCA