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Tuesday, 30 November 1976

Mr STREET (CORANGAMITE, VICTORIA) (Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Public Service Matters) -The Department of Education estimates that in the course of the next few weeks approximately 250 000 young people will leave secondary education. Some will try to find employment. Some, of course, will go on to further education. It is estimated that last year approximately 180 000 of these people actually entered the work force. It is interesting to note that, of that number, only some 60 000 at the peak period of registrations, were registered with the Commonwealth Employment Service. Clearly, the majority found jobs for themselves. As occurred last year, the vast majority of school leavers will find employment. As the honourable member said, over 95 per cent of last year's school leavers have done so. But for some, because of the present difficult state of the economy, there will be problems in getting employment quickly.

Recently, the Government has taken several initiatives in this field to help. I refer particularly to the subsidy of $59 a week to employers who- I emphasise this, Mr Speaker- provide a course of training for young people who have a history of high unemployment in the previous 12 months. This initiative is already a great success. I am advised that some 2300 young persons have been placed now under that scheme. We will be monitoring that scheme very carefully and will review it at the end of January in the light of the employment situation then.

Also, we have introduced the community youth support scheme. We have received more than 200 inquiries for assistance under that scheme. The first approvals have been made already. I am pleased to tell the House that the first assistance which I approved was in relation to an application from the electorate of the honourable member for Murray. The Government will continue to assist young people who are experiencing employment problems. I mentioned earlier the special subsidies under the National Employment and Training scheme. I am pleased to tell the House that, when the

Government reviewed the NEAT scheme and introduced new guidelines for it, the estimate was that some 3000 more people would be able to receive training under that scheme. At the time the Labor Government left office there were 7700 people receiving assistance under NEAT. There are now over 12 000 people. The Government will continue to use this form of emphasis on in-plant training to help the employment prospects of young people.

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