To coincide with World Youth Skills Day, peak business organisation the NSW Business Chamber has released its comprehensive 2019 Workforce Skills Survey,which will collect information on the skills needs of NSW businesses.

“World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for businesses to raise awareness about the importance of youth skills development and to implement measures aimed at tackling youth unemployment,”Hunter Business Chamber CEO Bob Hawes said.

“Globally, the United Nations estimates that youth unemployment is almost three times higher than the rest of the population and that imbalance is also represented here in the Hunter, where youth unemployment is more than double the general unemployment rate.

“The latest figures show youth unemployment at 10.4 per cent in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie and 11.8 per cent in the Hunter Valley, compared with general unemployment rates of 4.7 per cent and 5.4 per cent respectively.

“The Chamber is committed to ensuring our next generation of workers develops the skills they need to meet the needs of employers or to become employers themselves. It is vital for the future of our economy that young people connect with work, and businesses are able to source skills locally.”

Mr Hawes encouraged local business to participate in the survey, to ensure skills gaps are identified and training is aligned to meet industry needs and provide the best employment opportunities for young people.

“Ensuring the workforce of the future has skills that will be in demand in years to come is a win for young people, the economy, the community and business,” Mr Hawes said.

“Our survey provides an opportunity for businesses to tell us about their skill challenges, their experiences engaging with the training system and importantly the challenges and benefits of developing young people in the workplace.

“Results from this survey will help us develop recommendations for the future delivery of training in NSW and how to improve the provision of information to students, parents and employers on the pathways to a rewarding career,”

The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/2019workforce and all businesses are encouraged to submit their feedback.

The survey will run until 29 July.