LEICHHARDT MP Warren Entsch has welcomed the Turnbull Government’s new path to youth employment, which will help young Far Northerners to be better prepared for Australia’s economic transition to a stronger, new and more diversified economy.
The Government will invest $840.3 million over four years in a Youth Employment Package to assist up to 120,000 vulnerable young people take advantage of job opportunities as the economy diversifies and transitions to broader-based growth.
Mr Entsch said the new Youth Employment Package builds on initiatives introduced by the Government last year to help support youth employment.
“In the last 18 months, 50,000 more young Australians have found jobs, but there is a lot more work to be done, particularly in my region which struggles with high youth unemployment,” Mr Entsch said.
“The new measures will further boost young people’s job prospects by helping them to be better prepared for the workplace and by encouraging more businesses to open their doors to them.
“Given that youth unemployment is an issue that has been with us for quite some time, I think it is quite appropriate to look at new, innovative ways of creating opportunities. What we’re doing here in my view will achieve this by providing a very significant incentive to employers to engage our young people.”
At the core of the package is the Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire), a $751.7 million initiative to help maximise the chances of job seekers under 25 getting a job. The programme will involve three flexible stages:
– Employability skills training will begin on 1 April 2017 to help prepare young job seekers for the workplace. The training will help young people better understand what employers expect of them and give them the skills, attitudes and behaviours required to be successful in a job.
– From 1 April 2017, up to 30,000 young job seekers each year will be eligible to undertake an internship placement of 4 to 12 weeks. The internships will be voluntary and provide incentives of $1,000 upfront to a business to host an intern and a $200 fortnightly payment to job seekers on top of their income support.
– From 1 January 2017 a Youth Bonus wage subsidy of between $6,500 and $10,000 will be available to businesses who take on an eligible young job seeker. As part of this measure, existing wage subsidies (including those for youth, parents, indigenous and mature-age workers, and the long-term unemployed) will be streamlined, making them easier for employers to access.
“These three initiatives – pre-employment training, real work experience and wage subsidies – have been proven to help young people get a job and stay in a job,” Mr Entsch said.
“I’ll be keeping a very close eye on the success of this program, because it could prove to be a model that we could adopt for mature age workers in our region who are also facing challenges in getting and keeping employment.”
The Youth Employment Package will also include measures to complement the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda, with an additional investment of $88.6 million over four years to encourage Australians to start a business and create their own job.
From December 2016, the highly-successful New Enterprise Incentive Scheme will be expanded to offer an additional 2,300 places per year and broaden its eligibility so that more job seekers, including those not on income support, have the opportunity to take part in the programme.
Furthermore, two week ‘Exploring Being My Own Boss’ workshops for up to 1,000 job seekers a year will be made available, followed by an internship with a small business to encourage young people to consider self-employment.
These measures, combined with existing initiatives (including the Transition to Work service, Empowering YOUth Initiatives and ParentsNext), will put young job seekers on a positive pathway to finding and keeping a job, as we work towards growing our new economy.