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'Screw it': 640 job applications but still no work

THAT'S A NO: Joshua Mitchell has applied for 640 jobs and had just two interviews.
THAT'S A NO: Joshua Mitchell has applied for 640 jobs and had just two interviews. Contributed

A YOUNG Mackay man has been working really hard for eight months, but it hasn't been on the job.

He's spending all his time trying to find one.

Joshua Mitchell has applied for or enquired about work at more than 640 businesses in the past eight months.

The 22-year-old said he'd applied for a "minimum of 20 jobs a week".

It all started in September last year when he was made redundant after a change in ownership at the Night Owl in Victoria St.

Since then he has applied for job offers, posted on social media pages and visited businesses to make enquiries, then followed up his applications a week or two later.

"I am even considering just standing on the street with a sign saying 'I'm looking for work' with my mobile number," he said.

So exhaustive is Mr Mitchell's search for a job he's moved from Mackay to Brisbane, simply because he feels there is no one left to ask in his hometown.

"Absolutely, every day I feel like giving up. I have done it for so many months and I have had so much rejection," he said.

"I think 'screw it', but then I know the only way I am going to get out of this cycle is to find a job."

Mr Mitchell said he had been looking for work in retail or hospitality but was now searching for any job available.

He approached the Daily Mercury because he is extremely frustrated, and believes that a government incentive to get long-term unemployed young people into work is just not working.

"I've done a bit of research and employers are eligible for $10,000, but it doesn't seem like it is being used," he said.

Mr Mitchell has also told potential employers about the Skilling Queenslanders for Work financial incentive when he has applied for work, hoping it will get him over the line.

The Queensland Government initiative targets the high unemployment rate among young people in regional areas.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Mackay's unemployment rate sits at 8% while youth unemployment in Queensland is above 14%.

While Mr Mitchell is struggling to find work and has been forced to move to Brisbane, there are some success stories.

Member for Mackay Julieanne Gilbert said the $20,000 incentive for regional businesses who hired unemployed youths had been successful so far.

"We've had quite a few," she said. "In the Mackay and Whitsunday region 335 people have taken that up."

Ms Gilbert said Mackay Screen Repairs had taken on three job seekers, Uneek Industries has up to 16 and they took on young people with disabilities

"They (Mackay Screen Repairs) use it to grow their business, to get extra equipment and stuff like that," she said.

"If you are going to send someone out to do formal training, then you have to get someone to fill in while they are training, and then pay for that person doing the training."

No industry stood out as taking advantage of the incentive, Ms Gilbert said.

"It's across the board, and there are different packages there. Some are applying for the payroll tax incentive."

Ms Gilbert said while youth unemployment was still an issue, Mr Mitchell's story about searching so long and so hard was not something she often heard any more.

Today Ms Gilbert will join Attorney-General and Minister for Training and Skills Yvette D'Ath to announce a commitment of an extra $10million under the Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative.

"Organisations and councils in areas affected by Cyclone Debbie can apply for funding to run training programs that will help job-seekers get trained and job-ready, while rebuilding infrastructure damaged during Cyclone Debbie," Mrs D'Ath said.

>> CONTACT US WITH YOUR STORY: Email the reporter troy.kippen@dailymercury.com.au

Topics:  editors picks employment jobs youth unemployment


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