The LNP says its plan for Queensland revolves around getting people back into work and its new campaign promise is directed at the most intractable cases.
The LNP says its plan for Queensland revolves around getting people back into work and its new campaign promise is directed at the most intractable cases.

LNP plan to get mature workers, chronic unemployed in work

An LNP Government would spend $15.5m on a plan to get tens of thousands of long-term unemployed and mature age job seekers back into work.

Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said even before the COVID pandemic Queensland had the nation's highest rate of long-term unemployed and it had grown to 42,800 people.

The three-pronged plan to be announced today would include funds to help people upskill, run an internship program that supports business to hire and the rollout of a statewide "experience counts" campaign.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington has a plan to get mature-aged and long-term unemployed Queenslanders back into work: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
LNP leader Deb Frecklington has a plan to get mature-aged and long-term unemployed Queenslanders back into work: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

"I want to see an end to the negativity that mature age and long-term jobseekers often experience," Ms Frecklington said.

"I believe they are often just as capable, just as adaptable and just as willing to roll up their sleeves and take up a new challenge.

"While these forgotten Queenslanders have been left behind by Labor, the LNP has a plan to get Queensland working again."

A report released earlier this year from the Australian Council of Social Services showed 48 per cent of people receiving unemployment benefits were aged 45 and over.

Queenslander Michelle Simm has been out of work since April and has doing everything she can to find a new job. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Queenslander Michelle Simm has been out of work since April and has doing everything she can to find a new job. Picture: Nigel Hallett

It also found that unemployment was becoming more entrenched with 64 per cent of people on unemployment payments receiving them for more than 12 months.

The central plank of the LNP's scheme is a $9m pledge to boost the skills of long-term and mature job hunters and co-ordinate their re-entry to the work force.

LNP employment, small business, training and skills development spokeswoman Fiona Simpson said the package would help job seekers match their skills and interests with labour market needs.

"An LNP Government will also provide $6m for a work to re-entry internship program to help businesses give mature age and long-term jobseekers a go," she said.

Queensland has the highest rate of long-term unemployed in the nation. Picture: Glenn Hampson
Queensland has the highest rate of long-term unemployed in the nation. Picture: Glenn Hampson

"The re-entry internship program will pay for 100 per cent of a job seeker's salary for the first month and 50 per cent for the second month for 600 mature age and long-term jobseekers across Queensland," she said.

"When hiring a new employee, it's not about age rather it's about getting the right person to fit a business' needs."

According to the LNP's analysis of ABS figures, the number of job seekers aged 45 and over has risen by 21 per cent in Queensland since January 2015.

The regions with the highest growth of mature-age unemployed in the past five years were greater Brisbane (5600) and the Gold Coast (2100).

The region's with the fastest growth in long-term job seekers over the same period were Wide Bay (3300), the outback (3000) and central Queensland (1800).



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