HARD AT IT: Wayne Kittle with his boss, Dale Spencer at Jax Tyres
HARD AT IT: Wayne Kittle with his boss, Dale Spencer at Jax Tyres Christine McKee

CQ business has junior job up for grabs, but there's a catch

WITH so many young people unemployed, why do employers struggle to find junior staff willing and able to work?

Youth unemployment in Fitzroy region in June 2018 was 12.3 per cent, compared with 7.0 per cent in Mackay to the north, 27.7 per cent in Wide Bay to the south and the state average of 13.5 per cent.

Data compiled by the Brotherhood of St Lawrence in January this year showed more than 264,000 young Australians aged 15 to 24 were unemployed at three times the rate of those aged 25 and over.

After 11 years experience in tyre fitting and management, Dale Spencer took over the Rockhampton Jax Tyres franchise in June with a specific charter to employ young people, "and teach them the way I was taught".

"I show them what we expect of them during the course of their working life, just as I was shown," he said.

But it's been a challenge and Dale, like many employers, questions whether young people today are prepared for the workforce.

"When I was 10 and asked my dad for a cricket bat, he gave me a whipper snipper and showed me how to earn it," Dale said.

"He didn't just give it to me.

"I don't know if young people now are being taught from a young age how to work."

Dale's first part-time job was in a fast food chain before he turned 15, at 18 he began his career in tyre fitting and at 33 he's now a business owner.

"It was really busy when I started," he said.

"The mines were just kicking off and we were flat out every day.

"We had a good boss but he was hard to work for ... he was so down the line, but it taught me a lot.

"Now if I'm not in hospital, I'm not away from work."

Dale is looking to recruit another junior and his expectations are simple.

"You do what you're asked and you don't argue with your boss," he said.

"What we ask is what we need them to do because at the end of the day, if you do something that's not right or take a short cut, then I'm the person who has to answer for it."

One attempt at employing a junior ended in disappointment when the "young fellow" came for a week, took three days off without a medical certificate, returned for two days then left, only to ask for his job back a week later.

It's a familiar story among employers.

Dale first advertised for a junior six months ago and had more than 100 applications.

18-year-old Wayne Kittle was ultimately successful and this time Dale is happy with his young recruit.

"He turns up and if he does something wrong he'll come and tell me, he's really good," Dale said.

After six months Wayne says his work is physically hard but he's a lot fitter now than when he first started.

He says Dale pushes him, but "it's good pushing".

"It was really hard at the start, I struggled but I learned and got better.

"He's fair and good to work for."

Wayne finished year 12 last year and says he's not sure whether schools are preparing young people for the realities of the workforce.

"I think a lot of young people are immature and not ready for a big commitment," he said.

"It's not like 'back in the day'; there's a lot of laziness."

Wayne is used to the long hours and hard work and like his mentor, there's no doubt he'll be at work today.

"It's been good, I believe I can do any other job now if I put my mind to it."


  • Enthusiastic young person, female or male
  • Willing to work and learn
  • Prefer at least a learner's licence
  • Email resume to dale.spencer@jax.com.au

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