Footy legend to tackle city’s unemployment

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Rugby League legend, Wayne Pearce, will be in Griffith on June 3 to throw down a challenge to local businesses to find jobs for 20 locals.

BUSINESS CHALLENGE: Rugby League legend, Wayne Pearce, will be in Griffith on June 3 to throw down a challenge to local businesses to find jobs for 20 locals.

RUGBY League legend, Wayne Pearce, is heading to Griffith to help tackle youth unemployment.

Few would know that a staggering one in three people, aged between 15 and 24 living in Griffith, is unemployed.

Mr Pearce will be addressing a business breakfast at the Ex-Serviceman’s Club, organised by Sureway Employment and Training, on June 3, to highlight the problem and engage regional business leaders in a challenge to generate 20 new jobs for young people.

The project is called “Providing the First Step for Our Youth”.

Sureway’s regional manager, Craig Tilston, is appealing to all sections of the business community to support the project and to help Sureway “provide that first step”.

“Youth unemployment is a major concern for the whole community,” Mr Tilston said.

“Our goal is to assist 20 young people into full-time employment by the end of July. 

“This is an ambitious goal, however, we know by using traineeships, apprenticeships and wage subsidies we have the ability to make a difference to youth unemployment.

“After all, young people are our future.”

Mr Pearce is one of Australia’s most respected and highest profile rugby league identities. 

He represented and captained the Balmain Tigers, NSW and Australia from 1980 to 1990. 

He played 217 competition matches for the Tigers, 15 State of Origin matches and 19 tests for Australia. 

In 1988, while still a player, he was awarded an Order of Australia Medal for services to rugby league and the community.

During his playing career, Mr Pearce also completed a Bachelor of Science degree and Diploma of Education at the University of NSW. 

When he retired from playing and commenced a professional coaching career with the Balmain Tigers. 

He coached the Tigers through a period of massive change when they merged with Western Suburbs to become the Wests Tigers. 

He was so successful as the Tigers coach that he was appointed NSW State of Origin coach in 1999. 

Business people interested in attending the breakfast should phone Belinda King on 0402 199 347 by May 29 to register.

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