FEDERAL Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has strongly criticised the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) for playing politics rather than making sensible contributions to address youth unemployment.
The ACTU draft “policy” document released following their recent congress shows that they oppose the Government’s new National Work Experience Programme and Work for the Dole.
“The ACTU have put out a policy document which contains no policy for addressing youth unemployment,” Mr Joyce said.
“Typically, the ACTU has thrown criticism at the Government and true to form they have failed to recommend one positive policy to get more young people into work.
“The Leader of the Opposition failed to mention youth unemployment in his Budget reply speech which is not surprising because he leads a Labor party beholden to the ACTU whose only plan is to oppose.
Mr Joyce said in contrast the Coalition Government’s Growing Jobs and Small Business package will support young Australians in their efforts to move from welfare into work.
The Budget package announced a number of new programmes including the National Work Experience Programme and the Youth Employment Strategy which will help young job seekers and improve their chances of finding and keeping a job.
“I welcome the support and employment programmes announced in the Budget for our region’s young people,” Mr Joyce said.
“The National Work Experience Programme will give young job seekers the opportunity to work for up to four weeks in a private business to get exposure to an industry they are interested in and to get real work experience.
“The programme will allow job seekers to gain new skills and knowledge which they can then use to move into work. It will also show employers they are keen and willing to work.
“The Government has also created a new $1.2 billion wage subsidy pool. Wage subsidies include Restart, Youth, Indigenous, Parent and Long-Term Unemployed. These subsidies are flexible to allow employers to determine how and when they are paid.
“The Government is also investing $330 million in the Youth Employment Strategy to help young job seekers most at risk of long-term unemployment in targeted regions around Australia.
“These programmes will build on jobactive – the Government’s recently announced $6.8 billion employment services system which is replacing Job Services Australia on 1 July 2015, and includes the national roll out of Work for the Dole.
“The Labor Party and ACTU need to stop playing politics and support the Government’s plan to help young Australians find jobs,” Mr Joyce said.
For more information please visit www.employment.gov.au