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Disappointing government reaction on youth unemployment

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The Opposition Leader, Mr Andrew Peacock, said this mornin he was disappointed at .the seeming lack of concern shown by the Government and the trade union movement on youth unemployment.

1 hasten slowly1 approach because of divisions within its ranks and the lack of any innovative ideas to. tackle the problem," he said.

movement have shown a distinct aversion to some of the recommendations of the Kirby Report, including trainee wages."

parties which had put forward sensible and innovative initiatives such as "Workprep" and Education Bank during the election campaign.

"The Opposition had also endorsed the idea of trainee wages for youth well.ahead of the Kirby findings," he said.

Government's reaction to the Kirby Report by 1 endorsing in principle' its major findings.

on issues concerning youth and youth unemployment, and now has to await further reports on the Kirby recommendations. '

"This is simply not the way to approach what is becoming and increasingly urgent issue as each day goes by," he said.

immediate decisions are taken that will lead to action to solve the deeply ingrained problem of youth unemployment." _

Government's problems in this area was the lukewarm reception the Kirby report findings had received from senior union officials.

their attitudes to the major recommendations, including the proposal for trainee wages," Mr Peacock said.

principle' has said that: 'he doubted whether the youth trainee system, proposed in the Kirby Report under consideration by the Federal and State Governments, would have widespread application.' (The A g e , January 25) ยท .

"And Mr Ken Stone, Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, is reported as dismissing the recommendations for a trainee scheme (The Age, Jan 24).


It seems the Government has already decided to adopt a

At the same time, prominent members of the trade union

Mr Peacock said this was in sharp contrast to the Opposition

"Mr Hawke attempted to put the best gloss possible on the

But he could not hide the divisions within the Government

"Mr Hawke should put the rhetoric aside and ensure that

Mr Peacock said it seemed that one of the reasons for the

1 1 Several trade union leaders have already made quite plain

The ACTU's Mr Kelty, while endorsing the scheme 'in

Inquiries: 0 6 2 - 7 2 6 9 9 4 . . . /2

- 2-

"At the same time, it has been suggested that Mr Stone is a strong possibility for the position of Union Representative on the proposed Cain Government Committee to study the Kirby Report.

"If this is to be the approach of the union movement overall, then the Federal Government's divided and cautious approach to the Kirby Report can be understood," he said.

"It represents an awareness of the sceptical and basically negative responses of the trade union movement to the proposals.

"The fact that Mr Hawke now has a divided Cabinet likely to move slowly on the proposals from the Kirby Report, reveals his Government's priorities - Union Leaders first, the Unemployed, last."

31 JANUARY 1985