With the next federal budget, ACCI hopes to see a strong focus on issues related to youth employment.
“Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, young Australians have lost their jobs to a greater extent than other age groups,” said Jenny Lambert, interim CEO.
“While the latest labor force figures show a drop in unemployment to 5.6%, the youth unemployment rate remains at 11.8%. The underemployment rate for this cohort is 16.2%, which brings the youth underemployment rate to an unacceptable 28%.
“15-24 year olds play an essential role in the labor market. Failure to support young Australians now will not only have immediate ramifications, but will decrease the long-term productivity of the Australian workforce.
“The focus was on improving employment and productivity levels in the Federal Treasurer’s pre-budget speech to ACCI last week. The subsequently announced $ 1.7 billion child care program is an example of the type of initiatives that can address the issue of participation and productivity.
“We have identified a number of important additional measures the government can take in the budget to tackle the serious problem of youth unemployment.
“First, ACCI calls for a continued focus on learning. The government grant to launch accelerated learning has been a remarkable success in creating apprenticeships and internships – for the first time in ten years we have seen real growth in these employment and training opportunities . Extending the BAC grant to an effective support level beyond September would allow this success to continue, ”said Ms. Lambert.
“Second, recalibrate the JobMaker hiring credit to encourage employment for young people struggling to find work by removing barriers to accessibility and increasing the subsidy rate. With growing labor and skill shortages, especially in regional regions, we need as many manpower as possible.
“Third, to improve the integration of Commonwealth programs that target Australian youth unemployment into a holistic approach to youth employment.
“We urge the Federal Government to use this year’s budget to focus on young Australians, ensuring they are not left behind in our post-pandemic recovery.