City Taskforce Update 7 August

07 Aug 2020

The City Taskforce, a collaboration of 17 leading organisations and employers, chaired by Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes City of Newcastle, held its sixth meeting today. The Taskforce was formed to develop a collaborative approach to the City’s response to COVID-19, from crisis to recovery and beyond.

City leaders focused their discussion on the impacts to the City’s youth with the third edition of The Newcastle Response, highlighting significant impacts to youth employment. The meeting also received the latest briefings and analysis on the public health crisis, as well as the latest data on the Newcastle economy.

Young People work stream – Youth unemployment 

The latest edition of the Newcastle Response focuses on youth employment with City Taskforce Members providing leadership in an area of COVID-19 impact that remains a significant concern. Included within The Newcastle Response, the Youth Employment Charter is a pledge by City Taskforce organisations to prioritise youth employment opportunities. Organisations across the region are also encouraged to engage by making five commitments regarding youth employment, youth training, youth voice, youth support and youth celebration.

The Newcastle Response Youth Employment focuses on advocacy to State and Federal Government decision-makers to ensure that young people are represented in the decision-making processes that directly and indirectly impact their employment opportunities. A Community Program is also being scoped that will act as a Youth Employment Wrap-Around Service to provide a local response to growing youth unemployment.

The Newcastle Response ‘policy asks’ include a youth voice component as well as a request for the State and Federal Government Public Service to boost early career opportunities in the public service sector. The Taskforce asks:

  • The Federal Government to support Apprentices and Trainees Program by including subsidies for employers putting on new apprentices and trainees, not just existing.
  • PaTH internship program to be extended to include school leavers.
  • National Careers Institute Partnership Grants program has been requested to provide additional funding.

Information for the policy asks were developed through collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, most importantly including young people.

Local Evidence Base

Work progresses on the Local Evidence Base which aims to identify the datasets that enable the workstream to best understand indicators of local impact and response to Covid-19 and support the publication schedule of future issues of the Newcastle Response with local insights. The participants of the Local Evidence Base will meet next week and will report afterwards.

Industry Response Program 

Collaborative partnerships from the Hunter Writers Centre, Field Frequency, University of Newcastle, Olive Tree Markets and the Business Centre have received funding for unique projects that will boost the local economy under the $500,000 Industry Response Program. The funding agreements were announced last week.

Support to grow visitor economy 

A new program designed to assist businesses to develop, promote and sell tourism products is being launched by the City of Newcastle. Local tourism operators are invited to apply for the targeted program, which is being funded as part of the City’s Community and Economic Resilience Package. An additional $1.3 million grant and sponsorship program to support events, place activations and initiatives to re-energise Newcastle and boost the local economy has been made available by City of Newcastle.

Collaboration Forum

The next focus for the Newcastle Response is the local arts and culture sector. The next meeting is scheduled for Friday, 3 September.

Find out more about the City Taskforce - Industry Representation.