Anyone under 25 is being encouraged to either choose to work or study in a new ‘earn or learn’ scheme implemented by the Government in yesterday’s COAG (The Council of Australian Governments) meeting in Hobart.
In order to combat high unemployment among youth, the COAG agreed that people under 20 must be studying or training in order to qualify for Youth Allowance, and anyone under 25 will be given a training place.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said they are committed to equipping young people facing unemployment with new skills.
“We cannot allow and we will not allow as governments the skills and training needed by a growing modern economy to skip a generation because of the global recession.
“The point of these measures is as follows: we don’t want to repeat the mistakes of the past whereby young people who lose their job today become the long-term unemployed of tomorrow.”
The COAG have committed themselves to increasing the school Year 12 retention rate to 90 percent by 2015.
Anyone under the age of 20 who does not have a Year 12 certificate will be required to complete further education or workplace training before they can receive workplace Youth Allowance payments; and anyone under the age of 17 must be in full-time school, work or training.
Jobless under 25’s will be guaranteed a training place to ensure they have necessary skills for the recovery.
Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout welcomed the move, saying it would help deliver jobs and the skills needed for future growth.
‘The measures will help individuals affected by the economic downturn to be well-placed for skilled employment as the economy improves.”