Discrimination is the answer

JOLENE OGLE
Local community organisation United Synergies will ask Noosa Shire Council to discriminate when it comes to employing staff.

United Synergies CEO Christopher John said the aim is to discriminate in a positive way by employing young people facing homelessness, to complete jobs such as park maintenance and office cleaning.
Speaking exclusively with Noosa Today, Mr John said a lack of employment can begin a vicious cycle for young people aged between 16 and 25, which often leads to homelessness.
Mr John said he hopes to discuss the concept with both Noosa Shire Council and the Sunshine Coast Council and talk about making a social choice to “not just go for the best and cheapest” labour when employing staff.
United Synergies will ask the two councils to recognise that positive discrimination is “not necessarily in the best interest of the general population but it’s in the best interest of those most vulnerable”.
“Part of the challenge that we’ve got with such high employment across the Coast is even good quality people can’t get a job so those that have fewer skills have no chance,” Mr John said.
“That sort of despondency is part of the challenge that has an impact on the psyche of individuals and family and generational issues.”
Mr John admits it will take extra focus and effort to guide such recruits but the outcome will be worth it when the cycle of homelessness is broken.
United Synergies’ Tonya Stock said positive discrimination is like scaffolding, a way for vulnerable youths to get their foot in the door “so they can get on their way”.

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