Government failing our young people when it comes to employment

Thursday, 18 July 2019

BRENDAN O’CONNOR MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT AND INDUSTRY SHADOW MINISTER FOR SCIENCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR SMALL AND FAMILY BUSINESS
MEMBER FOR GORTON

AMANDA RISHWORTH MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT
SHADOW MINISTER FOR YOUTH
MEMBER FOR KINGSTON

 

Today’s youth unemployment figure shows the Government has clearly failed at supporting young people to find work, with the youth unemployment rate at 12 per cent – more than double the national average and an increase of 0.8 per cent since June 2018.

The youth underemployment rate also remains concerning high at 17.5 per cent – up more than 3 per cent since the Coalition was elected.

Unemployment and underemployment is a serious issue facing many young Australians and the Coalition Government is just not taking it seriously.

We know unemployment has a ripple effect through the lives of young people, with repercussions including risk of homelessness and mental health issues.

Despite the persistently high youth unemployment figures, the Government has provided no effective strategy to reverse the trend, with their attempts failing dismally in helping young people get into work.

For example, the Liberals’ signature PaTH internship program has failed in its first two years of operation.

It has failed in terms of participation, falling well short of their target of 30,000 internship placements per year, with the most recent figures in Senate Estimates showing only 8,234 young people have commenced internships between April 2017 and January 2019.

It has failed to produce real job outcomes, with recent reports indicating that only 30 per cent of participants are being offered a job at the end of their internship.

The Government needs to do much better at addressing the complex issue of youth unemployment, rather than just offering unpaid, dead-end internships.

Young Australians deserve a Government that is serious about addressing youth unemployment, and supporting young people to obtain secure, well-paid employment.

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