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A Budget to support and protect Australia’s young people

Young Australians will be offered more opportunity and increased support to build a better future under key measures announced in the 2020–21 Budget.

Senator the Hon Richard Colbeck
Former Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Services
Former Minister for Sport

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Young Australians will be offered more opportunity and increased support to build a better future under key measures announced in the 2020–21 Budget.

Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck said the Morrison Government’s plan, outlined on Tuesday night, paved the road to recovery, particularly for young people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our Government is focused on making sure opportunities exist for young Australians in education and employment, while delivering appropriate assistance to help them navigate the impact of the COVID pandemic,” Minister Colbeck said.

“The Budget clearly outlines how young people remain a key focus as we get Australia back on track.”

The Coalition has committed $4 billion to support young people into work through the JobMaker Hiring Credit.

It provides a wage subsidy of $200 a week for up to a year to make an eligible position available to a Jobseeker, Youth Allowance or Parenting Payment recipient aged 16 to 29 or $100 a week for recipients aged 30 to 35.  

Minister Colbeck said the Government is also encouraging more young people to take up a trade with $1.2 billion for Boosting Apprenticeship Commencements – a 50 per cent wage subsidy for any businesses taking on a new or recommencing apprentice.

“This is tangible action which builds on the existing $2.8 billion wage subsidy that is helping employers retain their apprentices and trainees,” Minister Colbeck said.

Other Budget initiatives that have a strong focus on supporting young Australians include:

  • $146.3 million for a Student Support Package, including help for more than 76,000 disadvantaged young people through The Smith Family’s Learning for Life program;
  • $10 million investment to expand the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship grants program funding up to an additional 50 projects to remove barriers and increase participation;
  • $25.2 million to amend workforce participation requirements, making it easier for young people on Youth Allowance or ABSTUDY to prove independence;
  • $900,000 to expand the Girls in STEM Toolkit which supports school aged girls;
  • $21.9 million for the Faster Connections and Greater Support for Young People for those aged 15-24 years. The initiative connects early school leavers to services faster  and provides specialist youth assistance to young job seekers in online employment services; and
  • $39.4 million for Online Safety Reform.

Minister Colbeck said the Government was also committed to ensuring the mental health of young people is maintained by supporting Youth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention.

“The Australian Government has invested an unprecedented $5.7 billion in mental health support in 2020-21 alone,” Minister Colbeck said.

“Doubling the number of Medicare-funded psychological services from 10 to 20 through the Better Access Initiative.

“The Government is driving the largest expansion of the headspace network, from 124 services to 153 services nationally by 2022. Over the next four years, the Government will invest $630.4 million in this national network,” Minister Colbeck said.

“We’re also expanding the national suicide prevention trials, as well as aftercare services for those who have self-harmed or attempted suicide, new services to support families and carers who have been bereaved by suicide, youth peer support, and support for Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander youth.”

Minister Colbeck said these budget measures build on our existing and ongoing work in developing a whole-of-government National Youth Policy Framework to inform how policies and programs support young Australians and improve their lives.

“Young Australians aged 15-24 are still able to contribute to this vital framework aimed at shining a light on the issues that affect so many and shaping the priorities, policies and programs for the future.”

The survey can be found here.

More information about the 2020–21 Budget is available here.

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