Year 12 retention and a program for skills training are the latest tools to combat unemployment, with Minister for Education Julia Gillard targeting thousands of school-leavers and young adults to prevent them from becoming unemployable. According to government estimates, about 300,000 15–24 year olds are not engaged in work or study.
“We don’t want a situation where we have generations of people who are basically unemployable because they lose their jobs or can’t find jobs,” said Gillard. “It has happened in past downturns and we have to move now to make sure it doesn’t happen this time.”
The program will also assist people in their 40s, at mid-career level, who have been made redundant to stop them from sinking into long-term unemployment.
Gillard will propose the reform at the next Council of Australian Governments meeting, which is due in a couple of weeks.