Jul 8, 2004

Howard’s youth unemployment legacy: northern Adelaide


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 8 July 2004

As the Prime Minister visits the northern suburbs of Adelaide today, he should be called on to explain why under his Government teenage unemployment in the area has increased by a massive 28% in less than 3 years.

Since the last Federal election teenage unemployment in Adelaide’s northern suburbs has increased from 28.1 (November 2001) to 36.1% today. This region now has the highest teenage unemployment rate in the country.

While the Prime Minister engages in gratuitous self-gratification, more and more local teenagers are experiencing a very different reality. Under the Howard Government they are missing out on the opportunities greater national prosperity is meant to bring.

Labor recognises the despair of these teenagers and the concerns of their parents. In May I, along with Labor’s Candidate for Makin Tony Zappia, announced that under a Labor government young people in the suburbs of northern Adelaide would receive a new, highly intensive form of assistance called Link-Up.

Link-Up program represents a $49.4 million investment in communities across Australia experiencing very high youth unemployment. It’s a targeted approach designed to provide unemployed young people with an opportunity to get into the employment market. It’s all about early intervention, so that today’s early school leavers don’t become tomorrow’s long term unemployed.

Link-Up is a key element of Labor’s $700 million Youth Guarantee: Learn or Earn policy, announced by Mark Latham during his Budget Reply. Each year the potential of 45,000 young people who leave school early and don’t go on to full time work or study is lost. Labor’s Youth Guarantee will fix this situation by:

• Abolishing TAFE fees for secondary school students;

• Employ 1,080 Training mentors;

• Providing 7,500 additional apprenticeships;

• Creating 7,500 additional TAFE places;

• Establishing a new Jobs Gateway: wage and training subsidies for 10,000 early school leavers.

A Latham Labor Government will invest in the talents and potential of all young Australia and ensure areas like northern Adelaide are not left behind.