BY JARROD MELMETH

Cost savings and job boosting measures from last weeks budget were at the top of then agenda for the federal Minister for Jobs Stuart Robert on a visit to the region on Monday morning.

Mr Roberts visited Quarry Mining at Beresfield where he met with local workers and apprentices and tour the facility.

Minister for Employment Stuart Robert says the Hunter provided the perfect backdrop to talk about the budget and what it means for locals.

“The Hunter has got unemployment down to about 4.8 per cent, which is of course lower than the national average at 5.6 per cent. 

Youth unemployment still remains stubbornly higher, so this is a great opportunity to understand the issues that are preventing that and why the participation rate is below the national average,” Mr Robert said. 

In last weeks budget the federal government announced that it would be expanding its JobTrainer Fund to continue offering low fee or free training places in areas of skills of need, as well as extending the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements wage subsidy to support new apprentices and trainees.

Mr Robert says he recognises the brunt that a region like the Hunter bares for the Nation.

“We recognise that it was regions like the Hunter that kept Australia going through the Covid Recession. 

“While city centres were smashed and shuttered; mining, manufacturing and agriculture across Newcastle and the Hunter. 

“Australia’s strong economic comeback owes a great debt to the people of the Hunter,” Mr Robert said.