Young struggling to find work

THE floundering economy and employers' preference for "experienced" jobseekers are blamed for a shocking unemployment rate of 33.5% among Sunshine Coast teenagers.

The disturbing rise in unemployment of those between 15 and 19 has caused increasing concerns over the past six years.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 12.2% of 15 to 19-year-olds were unemployed in 2006. That figure jumped to 33.5% in 2012, according to the Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency.

Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said the lack of jobs was the result of a downturn in the local economy.

"Young people tend to be employed mainly in the retail, hospitality and construction sectors, which have been greatly impacted by the global economic downturn," Ms Simpson said.

"A lower demand for apprentices and trainees in the construction industry has meant fewer job opportunities for school leavers."

It's of no comfort to local jobseeker Paige Galvin, 19, who has been jobless for 18 months.

"There are not enough jobs for the number of people here and employers are always looking for people that have worked in that type of job before," she said.

"This makes it hard to get a job, because you can't get a job unless you have experience, and you can't get experience unless you have a job."

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