ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie has called on the Federal Government to show global leadership in reducing youth unemployment and achieving inclusive growth, in her address to the C20 Summit in Melbourne.
“A key goal of this year’s G20 agenda is to reduce youth unemployment and increase employment opportunities for young people. As host of the G20 Summit, the Australian Government should be leading the way by strengthening supports to assist young people to transition from school to work,” Dr Goldie said.
The 2012 G20 Employment Task force report pointed to the need to strengthen training and school to work transition programs and provide career guidance as essential measures for reducing youth unemployment.
“By contrast, the measures proposed in the recent Federal Budget will leave young people who are unemployed with no income support for the first 6 months each year. This move is unprecedented among wealthy countries and contrary to the advice of respected organisations like the OECD which have called for a strong income support safety net and more investment in training for those affected by the Global Financial Crisis.
"At the same time, the Government is offering no commitment to funding vital programs like Youth Connections, which work with young people to help them complete their schooling and make a successful transition to further education, training, or employment.”
"The youth unemployment rate is now 13 per cent, or around 260,000 people aged 15 to 24. This compares to an unemployment rate for the working age population of 6%.
"We call on the Federal government to confirm its responsibility to take the lead in reducing youth unemployment and to ensure a decent income support safety net for those affected. The Government should work with civil society organisations and employers to reverse the loss of over 30,000 jobs for young people over the last six years."
“The C20 Summit offers a crucial opportunity for Government to meaningfully engage with civil society and community sector representatives to develop an inclusive and sustainable growth agenda and to ensure that no one in our local or global community is left behind, including young people.”
"Australian civil society organisations are already working in close partnerships with business groups and others on policy solutions to address social and economic policy challenges. It's time the government worked with us in this effort by supporting civil society organisations and providing opportunities for meaningful engagement in the policy process.”
The two-day C20 Summit, with representatives from 80 countries, will consider policy recommendations around inclusion, sustainable economic growth and improving income distribution, which will be delivered in a communique to the G20 leaders meeting in Brisbane in November.