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Wednesday, 12 October 1983
Page: 1695

Question No. 484

Mr Wells asked the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, upon notice, on 8 September 1983:

(1) Is he able to say whether employers wishing to avail themselves of the subsidised services of employees under the special youth program have in many cases sacked current employees merely in order to employ another person at the subsidised rates.

(2) Is it a fact that Commonwealth literature on this program does not prescribe that this should not be done by prospective employers.

(3) Will he take action to prevent any recurrence of such action.

Mr Willis —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) Allegations of abuse of the special youth employment training program ( SYETP) are referred to the Commonwealth Employment Service (CES) from time to time, but CES experience is that such abuse of the scheme is not common. Each allegation is fully investigated by CES officers, who discuss the matter with the employer in question. If the allegation is found to be correct and no young person has yet been placed in the vacancy, then the CES does not proceed with the filling of the SYETP vacancy and the employer is informed of the reasons. If a young job-seeker has already been placed the employer is debarred from receiving subsidies in respect of further young job-seekers until such time as the CES is satisfied that such abuse will not be repeated.

(2) The leaflet describing the scheme does not cover such abuses. However, the reported incidence of such abuse in the past has not been such as to merit drawing attention to possible malpractice which would clearly be against the spirit of the scheme and the interest of individual workers.

(3) The Government is concerned to minimise any abuse of this kind. I have been advised that the CES takes all practicable steps to ensure that SYETP subsidies are not paid to employers who abuse the provisions of the scheme.