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Thursday, 3 May 1973
Page: 1714


Mr HUNT (Gwydir) - Before the suspension of the setting I was stressing upon the Government the need to establish one year pre-employment courses or transitionary courses in our technical colleges. I pointed to the need for the Government to pay at least the basic wage for such students in the first year as an incentive to young people to learn a trade. At present too many of our young people are leaving school and taking the first unskilled job available. They are attracted to those jobs because of the high wages offering to young people in unskilled areas. Each year approximately 130,000 young people leave school and it is estimated that about 10,000 of those students could be encouraged to enter technical colleges under the scheme to which I have referred. If this were so such a scheme would probably cost the Commonwealth Government in the vicinity of S5m in a full year. I believe that this is not an excessive cost; rather it is a wise investment by both the Government and society generally. It will enable more of our young people to move into meaningful and productive employment in our community.

Such transitional classes could include courses in industrial relations, management, trade union administration and a whole range of other courses. It could help educate our young people in such areas of industrial relations informing them of their rights under the laws and their obligations under the laws. It could help to improve industrial relations in the long term thus creating a better climate in industrial relations, a better understanding, and ultimately perhaps a higher level of productivity in industry. We are now living in a fast changing society where better formal education facilities are available at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. However, due to inadequate incentives in technical education there is a considerable wastage of talents and resources in some school leavers who could be attracted into this area. Young people who cannot enter university or a college of advanced education, young people who drift, often aimlessly, into unrewarding activities often' become frustrated because of a lack of job satisfaction. There are young people who are often referred to as drop-outs, which is a cruel term. If there are drop-outs in our society then society itself is not really living up to its responsibility to help them.

We owe it to society to give every child a chance within the limits of his ability to make the most of what facilities are available to perhaps the greater portion of the community. Of course, there are always minority groups coming from low income families and families that perhaps do not place sufficient emphasis on education. These people suffer in society today. I am sure that the technical colleges should be geared financially and physically to help a section of our young people.

The pre-employment or the one year transitional course offers this opportunity and this incentive to a group of young people. I hope that the Government, and especially the Minister for Education (Mr Beazley), will see fit to give this matter very serious consideration. It would be a very worthwhile area for the new commission to move into. In fact I think the Minister has it in mind that the proposed commission study this area of need in the technical education system.


Mr Beazley - It is essential for people to approach the commission.


Mr HUNT - As the Minister has said, and I have no doubt he will say it again later, it is essential for people to approach the commission and to produce evidence that there is a need for this sort of system in our technical colleges.







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