The Morrison Government continues to drive job opportunities for young people despite the current challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck, today welcomed the new $2.5 billion JobTrainer package, announced this week by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
It comes as the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Labour Force figures released this morning, show that despite a rise in the youth unemployment rate to 16.4 per cent in June – seasonally adjusted the increase of 101,500 across the month is still 233,100 (or 11.9 per cent) below March 2020 levels.
Minister Colbeck said it was an encouraging sign given the challenges of 2020.
“Young people have been heavily impacted by the pandemic because they are largely represented in the hardest hit industries, including food services, accommodation, tourism, and the arts sectors,” Minister Colbeck said.
“As the Prime Minister has said, in order to get young people back into work, everything is on the table including what we are already doing in industrial relations, Youth Jobs PaTH initiatives and apprenticeships.
The Morrison Government will invest $2 billion to give hundreds of thousands of Australians access to new skills by retraining and upskilling them into sectors with job opportunities, as the economy recovers from COVID-19.
The JobTrainer skills package will also guarantee support for thousands of apprentices in jobs across the country by subsidising their wages to keep them employed and their training secured.
“Young people have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Australian Government continues to take action to limit the fallout,” Minister Colbeck said.
“The pandemic is a national health emergency and the economic impact is widespread.
“This is why the Government continues to invest in programs that give young Australians the assistance and encouragement to learn new skills which will help them become job ready and enter the workforce as the labour market improves.”
Minister Colbeck said the JobTrainer Package will expand and extend existing wage subsidies for apprentices and trainees.
“We moved rapidly to introduce the JobKeeper and JobSeeker payment so young people have the financial support they need to get through this difficult time and JobTrainer boosts and strengthens this support,” he said.
“The Government does not underestimate the significant challenges resulting from COVID-19 that lie ahead and we are investing in more ways to help young people gain new skills and be ready as the economy picks up.
“We are also making record investments in mental health services and support so I encourage young people feeling overwhelmed in these unprecedented times to reach out for help—you are not alone, we are in this together.”
Since January this year, the Government has provided approximately $500 million in additional funding for mental health services and support, including $64 million for suicide prevention, $74 million for preventive mental health services, and $48 million to support the pandemic response plan.
Further, a significant proportion of the $669 million telehealth package supports MBS-subsidised treatments provided by GPs, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
With expenditure estimated to be in excess of $5.2 billion this year alone, the Government continues to demonstrate its firm commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians.
Anyone experiencing distress can seek immediate advice and support through Beyond Blue (1300 224 636), Lifeline (13 11 14), Kids Helpline (1800 55 1800), headspace or the Government’s digital mental health gateway, Head to Health.