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Wednesday, 19 May 1965

Senator GORTON - The Minister for Labour and National Service has supplied the following answers -

1.   There are no separate figures for teenagers, but at 26th February 1965 there were 1,799 females under the age of 21 registered for employment with the Commonwealth Employment Service in Western Australia. By 30th April the number had fallen to 1,133. No statistics are available on how many of these junior females had passed the Junior or Leaving Certificate, but a large proportion were seeking employment in occupations for which these qualifications are not normally required.

2.   The figures quoted by the honorable senator relate to juniors as well as to adults. The junior content is necessarily high early in the year, as this particular category, which includes professional, semi-professional, commercial, clerical and administrative occupations, is the one in which many school leavers, particularly girls, seek employment. In many instances applicants do not have qualifications which meet the standards set by employers.

3.   The figure quoted by the honorable senator is the total number of vacancies held by the Commonwealth Employment Service in Western Australia at 26th February 1965. It includes both males and females and covers all occupations. At 30th April there were 644 vacancies for males in the skilled building and metal trades, most of which were for tradesmen.

4.   No justification appears to exist for believing that there is a teenage unemployment problem in Australia. The only real problem of unemployment among young people relates to junior females, particularly in country areas. The Commonwealth Employment Service is doing all it can to place these girls. No ready solution by way of creation of additional jobs in the country suitable only for these girls is in sight and many parents are understandably reluctant to see their daughters leave home to go to the cities and other centres where there may be suitable jobs.

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