18-year-old demands action after a year of job-hunting
JAYDE Wood has been searching for work since he finished school last year.
But despite searching for almost 12 months, so far the 18-year-old Maryborough man has had no luck.
Now the young man is challenging the state's politicians to visit the Fraser Coast ahead of the election and see for themselves how hard it is to find work in the region.
Jayde has shared his story after the Chronicle revealed through its Fair Go for Our Kids campaign that young people in regional areas were falling behind their city counterparts, both when it comes to education and finding work.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Wide Bay youth unemployment had hit 23.5 per cent, with young jobseekers continuing to find it difficult to find work in the region.
Jayde graduated from Maryborough Special School last year.
He has a mild vision impairment and intellectual disability, but it has never stopped him from achieving his goals.
This year he is completing the Duke of Edinburgh's Award gold level, which means completing a community project, attending two camps and doing 60 hours work experience.
Jayde was part of the Noosa Triathlon for Maryborough Special School as part of his community project.
He has also done work experience at Hervey Bay Community Radio Station.
In addition to completing the Duke of Edinburgh award, Jayde had also signed up to Mylestone Employment and is being assisted in his goal of finding work.
He loves anything related to technology and is hoping to find a job in the field.
But he said that upon hearing he had a disability, many potential employers lost interest.
Jayde said he was confident politicians would see the challenges of finding work if they visited the Fraser Coast community.
"They would see how hard it is to get a job for people with disabilities, for people in general," he said.
Of Jayde's mates only two have found work since leaving high school, and that work is only part-time.
"The rest are looking," he said.
He said many of them were as frustrated as he is by the search for work.