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Troublesmiths - beating the Catch 22

Before I launch into the wonders of New Zealand’s Southland, I just wanted to mention a little place I came across on my usual beat between the library and the city.  I also want to say thanks to all our firemen working so bravely in terrible conditions, including those from Canada who have given up their Christmas to help. Now that’s true Christmas Spirit!

Our deepest sympathy to those who have lost homes or family members and also to those who have loved ones missing or dead following the volcanic eruption on White Island in NZ.

Meanwhile, I don’t know if youth unemployment is a problem in your area. It certainly is in Tasmania.  While national unemployment – even given the miserable definition  i.e. if you have only worked one hour in the previous week, you are considered employed, runs at around 6%, youth unemployment remains at a stubborn 12.9%  (266,000 in April this year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics) and not counting those who have given up entirely.  On the whole, Tasmania is even worse off with some regions e.g. Huonville and Margate, recording rates as high as 16%.

Gift bags ready to go

One of the most frequently cited reasons for youth unemployment is that if you have no experience and/ or no qualifications, it is very hard to break into the workforce. Troublesmiths, a little business I discovered in the city, has found a way to overcome this. Partially funded via the State Government and the federally funded Workskills Program, it offers an eight week course which includes experience in retail, practice in writing resumes, presentation and coaching, and some real world experience in making and selling at least one product. 

Sign on the wall

Testament to their success, is that many of their graduates have now found regular employment and  all havegained confidence and a positive and productive way to spend their time. Their products are sold via a very smart retail outlet, which is what caught my eye in the first place, and also their website. The products look and smell good too. Kyron and Cal are making lip gloss and candles respectively, when I come in and  I am personally very taken with the Bushy Beard Oil (no, not for me, silly), so if you are still looking for a special gift or something different for Secret Santa business, it wouldn’t  hurt to have a look. Your dollars would be doing double duty, that is, doing good, while bringing joy.  If you have a suitable business, they also welcome wholesale enquiries and if you happen to be a young unemployed person, they are now accepting enrolments for the next session. Just apply via their website.

If youth unemployment (or any other kind) is a problem in your area, it could be an idea worth emulating.

These beeswax wraps look good and smell very nice too