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What about just some decent training Tony?

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MEDIA RELEASE Anthony Albanese MP Shadow Minister for Employment Services & Training Federal Member for Grayndler

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What about just some decent training Tony?

Tony Abbott’s speech to the Young Liberal Conference in Adelaide yesterday demonstrates that the Government doesn’t have a clue about how to reform our welfare system and get people jobs.

Four years, hundreds of meetings, thousands of reports and millions of press releases later the Government is back to where is started from not knowing if it should make mini, midi or maxi changes to our welfare system.

They have certainly passed their own activity test but haven’t got a job out of it.

The Government says that all its domestic efforts are going into moving people off welfare payments and getting them back into work - however long term unemployment is as high today as it was when John Howard became Prime Minister in 1996.

This Government likes to boast that it has created 1 million new jobs but they don’t tell the full story that many of these new jobs are casual or part time and thousands of them are dodgy traineeships for young people that pay half the award wage and give them little if any proper training.

Despite a decade of economic growth, long-term unemployment is today higher than it was when the Howard Government first took office in 1996. This comes as no surprise when you consider that by international comparison, Australia invests 43% less than the OECD average on help for the unemployed.

The Government cares so little about providing proper training for the unemployed that they will be investing a paltry $11 on each unemployed person in the first 3 months they are unemployed under the new employment services contract.

What the $11 will buy in the way of training or assistance to return to the workforce is anyone guess, but what is certain is that it won’t help the unemployed and therefore will have a negative impact on the Australian economy.

Tony Abbott and his colleagues Senator Amanda Vanstone and Mal Brough need to stop fighting with each other and start being constructive and actually help unemployed Australians.

Even the future Peter Reiths, Michael Woolridges, Bronwyn Bishops attending the Young Liberal Conferences would understand that!

Sunday, 12 January 2002

Anthony Albanese 0419 777 597 Annie O’Rourke 0438 279 368