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Abbott’s no dole for under 30s policy “absolutely ridiculous”

The former Head of the nation’s largest employment company, Drake Personnel, has called the Coalitions developing position on cutting the dole for those under 30 “absolutely ridiculous”.

Economic SuperheroSpeaking at the National Carbon Reduction Conference being held in Melbourne today, Matthew Tukaki, who guided Drake through the worst of the global financial crisis, went further by suggesting politicians need to be careful with policies that do no more than target votes for short term gain when the longer term picture in terms of workforce design remains in limbo.

“The reality is the political debate takes over from the very real issues we need to deal with when it comes to youth unemployment, which on average, is much higher than the majority of other age groups. To cut the dole to this group of people or by suggesting they can work in the mines does nothing to address the fact that many of them are unskilled or, for that matter, would not have any other means of support than to rely on family for income. If the plan came with a targeted response to skilling or cross skilling younger people for skills gaps in industry, then you have the semblance of a plan. To do otherwise you have nothing more than rhetoric.” Tukaki said

Tukaki was recently in New Delhi where he was asked by the United Nations Global Compact to address the issue of migrant skilled and unskilled workers. Mr Tukaki had this to say about the Australian debate on migrant workers:

“The fact is the population is aging and even if we cross skilled and skilled large swathes of unemployed Australians, we are still not going to have a labour force that will fill every job. That is why we need a careful and considered approach to designing and developing workforce strategies for the future in addition to the removal of scare mongering when it comes to skilled migration. A lot of people I have spoken to in the community and in forums such as this tend to link skilled migration with immigration, which we should be doing. “ Mr Tukaki said

Mr Tukaki’s keynote speech addressed the pressure on the workforce when it comes to supporting the greening of the Australian economy, green jobs and the continuing debate on climate change and its impact on business:

“The fact is we have a number of issues we need to deal with when it comes to the present and future make-up of our workforce. It is my belief that we are still under investing in new technologies while at the same time not funding our educational institutions adequately to create the skills we need for the future – which in our case is not five or ten years away, it is this year and next.” Mr Tukaki said

Mr Tukaki has said in his speech that with an election looming all political parties have an opportunity to look carefully at the issues linking employment, migration and the economy without rushing into short term fixes:

“The government is moving to reform the health system which according to the polls, many people believe is overdue. We also need reform when it comes to how we deal with employment and unemployment, the skills required in the economy today and tomorrow in addition to the investment we need to make in education.” Mr Tukaki said

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David Olsen

David Olsen

An undercover economist and a not so undercover geek. Politics, business and psychology nerd and anti-bandwagon jumper. Can be found on Twitter: <a href="http://www.twitter.com/DDsD">David Olsen - DDsD</a>

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