Bendigo organisations say traditional traineeships and hospitality jobs aren't being taken up as much as previous years following a new report on youth unemployment.
The Smashing the Avocado Debate report showed Australia's youth unemployment hotspots with the Bendigo region has the highest rate in Victoria.
The Bendigo region, including Heathcote, Castlemaine, Boort and Wedderburn, has a youth unemployment rate of 18.3 per cent - more than 7 per cent higher than the state's rate of 11.4.
Anti-poverty group the Brotherhood of St Laurence produced the report using Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing the 12-month average to December, 2018.
An estimated 58,200 young people aged 15 to 24 were unemployed in Victoria in December, 2018.
The 11.2 per cent national youth unemployment rate is more than twice Australia’s overall unemployment rate (5 per cent).
The Brotherhood’s executive director Conny Lenneberg said a more sophisticated public debate about the emerging generation’s challenges was needed.
"We know from our research and the experience of our services that many young people are doing it tough,” she said.
"Young people come out of education and training with high hopes and aspirations for independence."
CVGT Australia chief executive Paul Green said traditional traineeships weren't being taken up as enthusiastically as people might think.
"We went through a period at the end of last year where we were struggling to fill vacancies," he said.
"Young people don't necessarily see it as a way forward, so we need to encourage young people or better promote the apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities that exist.
"There are also a considerable number of incentives for employers to employ young people. The state and federal governments have been proactive but, again, there is not necessarily the awareness of these initiatives.
"Certainly, there needs to be some continuing discussion."
Be.Bendigo chief executive Dennis Bice said there were many challenges around youth unemployment.
"Restaurants and coffee shops are finding it hard to get casual or part time workers, which interesting to think when you see the youth unemployment issues," he said.
"Traditionally, those positions are filled by high school or university students but there is a gap at the moment and we are working through why that is."
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