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Jobless youth face double disadvantage

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Senator Grant Tambling Shadow Minister for Community Services, External Territories and Northern Australia


Young people with disabilities must not become the forgotten victims of Australia's unemployment crisis, the Shadow Minister for Community Services, Senator Grant Tambling, said today.

Senator Tambling called on the Federal Labor Government to give priority to the plight of young unemployed people with disabilities at its Youth Jobs Summit in Canberra on July 22.

"The Federal Government must recognise that young job seekers with disabilities are doubly disadvantaged in times of high unemployment and recession.

"First, they must overcome any discrimination and ignorance about their capabilities and secondly, they must overcome the difficulties of finding and keeping a job in a shrinking labour market."

Senator Tambling said the recent report "Employment of People With Disabilities" by the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs sounded a warning to the Federal Government.

"It is a truism to say that in a period of high

unemployment, and also in a time of workplace reform, the likelihood of many people with disabilities obtaining meaningful employment is minimal. If this is the case, then the Government's commitment to addressing the needs

of all citizens must be reflected in a more pro-active attitude." (p.309)

Senator Tambling said the Federal Government needed a strategy to ensure that young people with disabilities had maximum opportunity to find employment in the labour market.

"The Federal Coalition is committed to wide-ranging reforms to boost the economy and job creation as well as to introducing specific initiatives to assist people with disabilities.

"For example, we want to encourage people with disabilities to join training programs to facilitate their entry to the workforce, where possible. We have set aside $35 million in the Employment and Training portfolio for this very purpose."

ENDS Contact: Senator Tambling 089-813567 Tiz Zeroni 089-813567 —