Jul 5, 2004

Labor commits to special youth initiative for northern Tasmania

LABOR COMMITS TO SPECIAL YOUTH INITIATIVE FOR NORTHERN TASMANIA

MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 5 July 2004

Young jobseekers in northern Tasmania will receive a new, highly intensive form of assistance under a future Latham Labor Government.

Shadow Minister for Employment Services and Training Anthony Albanese announced the local commitment with Federal Member for Bass Michelle O’Byrne today.

“This localised commitment from Federal Labor follows strong representations from Michelle O’Byrne who has been extremely concerned about the very high rate of teenage unemployment in the region,” Mr Albanese said.

Full time teenage unemployment in northern Tasmania is currently 22.1% – up from 20% at the time of the last Federal election..

Link-Up will start in January 2005 in regions suffering from high rates of teenage unemployment. It will deliver intensive, job-focused assistance to young jobseekers aged 15 to 18 from the moment they start receiving unemployment benefits. Currently many young jobseekers have to be out of work for at least 12 months before they can access such assistance.

Mr O’Byrne said “The high rate of youth unemployment across northern Tasmania is unacceptable. Labor’s Link-Up program represents a $49.4 million investment in communities across Australia where youth unemployment is very high. 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.

“Labor’s Youth Guarantee will deliver new hope and opportunities to 133,000 disadvantaged young people. It will also ensure that local employers can get the skilled workers they need to expand their businesses. A Latham Labor Government will invest in the talents and potential of young people in our district and across Australia,” Ms O’Byrne said.