The Newman Government must act to ensure a workable apprenticeship program for the tattoo industry, Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said today.

As unemployment and youth unemployment continue to soar in the region, Mr Pitt said bosses were forced to lay off local young people following the introduction of laws by the Newman Government.

“I’ve met with one local tattoo artist whose apprentice was told to down tools and stop on-the-job training because of the Newman Government’s rushed legislation,” Mr Pitt said.

“Under the new laws, the young man can’t keep earning a wage through his apprenticeship or even continue to learn his chosen trade because he has been declared too young by Campbell Newman.

“Young people wanting to be electricians, plumbers, mechanics or even pilots can all begin learning the skills they need for their chosen job before they turn 18.

“Why should trainee tattoo artists be different?

“It’s a job like any other – even if Campbell Newman and Jarrod Bleijie don’t like it.

“It’s prejudicial and discriminatory to make different rules for a particular trade simply because of wowsers in Brisbane.

“If the Newman Government was serious about job creation, it would ensure it balanced regulation of the industry with allowing young people to learn a trade of their choice and be able to earn a reasonable wage as they did so.”

Sean Owen from Ink Embassy said Member for Cairns Gavin King had been promising to sort out this situation but simply hadn’t delivered.

“Mr King promised the world, was happy to pose for a photo with me and vowed to fight to have these laws changed,” Mr Owen said.

“He even went so far as promising me the opportunity to meet with the Attorney-General during the last Parliament sitting in Brisbane,” Mr Owen said.

“This did not happen and instead I met with the Opposition who seem to at least have some real plans to repeal and replace these laws which are impacting on apprentices and in some cases have seen shops shut their doors.

“I will continue to advocate on behalf of this industry which has been let down by the LNP.”