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What the CAI youth survey really says

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& _ J ® U _ COM Μ Ο N WEALTH

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H i g h e r E d u c a t i o n a n d E m p l o y m e n t S e r v i c e s

B43 T H E H O N . P E T E R B A L D W I N M . P . 14/7/92



A survey by the Confederation of Australian Industry (CAI) shows that the main reason employers do not wish to employ young people is because of alack of skills, and not because the award wage is too high, the Minister for Higher Education and Employment Services, Peter Baldwin, said today.

"The CAI's claims that lower youth wages are the answer to youth unemployment are directly contradicted by their own survey," Mr Baldwin said.

"More importantly, the survey results suggest that lowering youth wages would not substantially increase the likelihood of employers taking on more young people.

"When asked if their decision not to employ young people was because of the award wage being too high, more than half the employers surveyed said that this was of little or no importance.

"The overwhelming majority of employers were far more concerned about the low skill levels of young people and their lack of maturity.

"Over 76 percent of those surveyed said low skill levels were a reason for not employing young people; and this was of large or major importance to more than two thirds of this group.

"Lack of maturity was another large or major concern for 54.8 percent of employers; I'd be very interested to hear how the Oppostion is going to make young people more mature - and therefore more appealing to employers - by slashing youth wages.

Mr Baldwin said the CAI was drawing a very long bow by using the survey results to support the Coalition's lower youth wage proposal.

"If anything, this survey should give the $3.00 youth wage the kiss of death. It shows that employers don't take on young people for a variety of reasons, unrelated to the wage level; the Government's emphasis on young people learning skills is the real issue.

"Improving young people's skill levels and giving them more relevant training will do a lot more for their job prospects than just lowering youth wages.

"It's quite obvious to most people by now that the Coalition's youth wage proposal is just a means of getting a foot in the door to lower all wages, for all ages.

"By contrast, the Government's policies will provide young people high quality training and work experience which will greatly improve their employment options - as well as providing the skilled workers which employers really w ant..

Enquiries: Sarah Taylor Minister Baldwin's Office 06 277 7540

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