Giving our local youth a go in the New England Electorate

04 Nov 2016


The Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce said the Coalition Government is getting young Australians ready and able to join the workforce through the innovative Youth Jobs PaTH programme.


Youth Jobs PaTH (Prepare-Trial-Hire) will help increase young people’s job prospects by ensuring they are better prepared for the workplace and encouraging more businesses to open the door to them.


The three-step Youth Jobs PaTH programme is a key component of the $840 million Youth Employment Package announced in the 2016 Budget. The programme will help young people become work ready through intensive pre-employment skills training, delivering the work-ready skills that many employers have said young Australians often lack.


Following the pre-employment training, up to 120,000 internships over four years will be available for young Australians to gain real work experience. Finally, an increased wage subsidy for employers who take on young job seekers will provide an incentive for local employers to give young people the opportunity to obtain gainful employment.


“The PaTH programme is about getting young Australians ready, giving them a go, and getting them into a job,” Mr Joyce said.


The Youth Jobs PaTH three flexible stages include:

Employability skills training which will begin in 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;

Commencing in 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; and

From 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 person as an employee or apprentice.


This innovative program represents a substantial investment in young Australians and has received the support of not for profit groups such as the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the Council of Small Business Australia and mental health advocate and former Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry AO.


Only the Coalition is committed to addressing entrenched youth unemployment and breaking the cycle of welfare dependency. In contrast, Labor is in lock-step with the unions in opposing the Youth Jobs PaTH.


“The Coalition is determined that younger generations are not confined to a lifetime of welfare dependency however the first step must be to ensure that they have the basic skills required to enter the workforce,” Mr Joyce said.


“The PaTH programme has been developed by listening to what young people and employers have told us they need. Young Australians want the opportunity to make a valuable contribution to their communities but to do so they need the job-ready skills that employers demand – the PaTH programme ticks both boxes.”


The 2016-17 Youth Employment Package follows the Government’s earlier $331 million investment in the Youth Employment Strategy, designed to help young people at increased risk of long-term unemployment improve their chances of finding and keeping a job.


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.


Mr Joyce said he encouraged interested businesses, families or young Australians to contact my office to obtain more information about the Youth Employment Package.


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