Failed PaTH program not the answer to youth unemployment crisis

Thursday, 23 July 2020

Young people have been the hardest hit by this recession, and Labor welcomes the Morrison Government making a youth specific announcement. We will work through the details of the proposed “PaTH Business Placement Partnerships”.

It is absolutely integral to connect young people with jobs of the future, and to ensure they are trained, skilled and educated for those jobs.

However we are initially concerned that this announcement appears to be a rebranding of the Government’s failed Youth Jobs PaTH program.

Despite years of persistently high youth unemployment figures, the Liberal Government’s only half-hearted attempt to address the issue has been their PaTH program – which has failed in terms of uptake and outcomes.

Senate Estimates confirmed this year that in the 19/20 financial year, only 1,881 young people commenced a PaTH internship as at December 2019 – falling well short of its 30,000 per year target.

Minister Colbeck also confirmed late last year that only 30 per cent of participants were being offered a job at the end of their internship.

The PaTH program failed to make a dent in youth unemployment pre-pandemic – it certainly will not be the panacea now that youth unemployment is at a 23 year high.

Young people are already being left out and behind by this Government during the recession, with Treasury revealing this week that young people have been disproportionately left out of the JobKeeper program.

Youth unemployment is a real crisis and young people need more than just a reheat of a failed program.

The Morrison Government must deliver a meaningful plan to get the 334,000 unemployed young Australians back into work.

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