Judy Plath from Nourish Cafe said there is plenty of work opportunities in Bundaberg for hard workers.
Judy Plath from Nourish Cafe said there is plenty of work opportunities in Bundaberg for hard workers. Brian Cassidy

Spotlight on Bundy: Job seekers avoid work opportunity

LOCAL work seekers have been ghosting their job interviews in a city with high youth unemployment, and it has frustrated a Bundaberg coffee shop owner since she has been in business.

Nourish Cafe owner Judy Plath said there was plenty of opportunity for hard working youth in Bundaberg but that as a small business owner she had been burnt by prospective employees who had not told her they were no longer interested in the opportunity.

Mrs Plath did not want to offend anybody with her comments, and said she was fortunate to have a great team currently working for her, but she agreed to comment about employment because it was a subject she was passionate about.

"I want to see youth get employment, I want to see them feel pride in themselves and it is a beautiful thing,” she said.

"If we can get these conversations out in the open and stop talking about it as if employers don't give young people a go, there's not enough work in Bundaberg.

"There's work, there's no shortage of work, it's just everyone has been burnt.

"Employers have been burnt, it's exhausting, it's draining, so if we were able to change the conversation and really talk about these issues and start giving people better opportunities by acknowledging what the impediments are, I think we can make things a lot better.”

Mrs Plath's comments follow comments made by Keith Pitt's in The Courier Mail yesterday, in which he said he had received complaints from local businesses across different sectors trying to fill vacancies.

Mr Pitt said he was shown video footage from a "local farming-linked business” in which a man turned up to the second round of a job interview, dressed in a superman outfit while drinking an energy drink. The incident happened about 18 months ago.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Wide Bay's unemployment rate is 7.3 per cent as of the end of June.

But youth unemployment was 18.1 per cent. It had dropped by 10 per cent within a year. "The level of complaints and issues I get about the inability to find employees for a variety of industries has been increasing,” Mr Pitt said.

Mrs Plath said she had issues in the past with prospective job seekers and she believed a solution would be some form of training for youth once they left school so they were ready for work immediately.

"I have been disappointed with a new prospective employee not showing up for work in a job interview,” she said. "I've contacted them, I've offered them the opportunity to come and interview for a job and they've not shown up, they haven't made the effort to contact me to let me know they're not showing up.

"This is a disappointing situation. You're offering somebody the opportunity and they didn't choose to take that opportunity.

"It has happened on multiple occasions.” As a small business owner what she looked for in employees was worth ethic and a willingness to work.

When Mrs Plath received a recommendation from an employment agency she would call to ask about the job seeker's reliability and if they regularly attended appointments.