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Friday, 23 August 1985
Page: 289


Senator GILES —My question is addressed to the Minister representing the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations. What provision is being made in the new youth package for those young people who have previously been reliant upon transitional allowances in order to take advantage of programs such as the participation and equity program and other technical and further education bridging courses? Are there any plans for extensions of these courses which cater for the disadvantaged youth who are unlikely otherwise ever to qualify for traineeships?


Senator BUTTON —The major purpose of the Government's strategy for young people is to increase their access to employment training and education. Improvements in the job market and school participation rates, together with new opportunities available under employment and training programs, particularly traineeships, will provide more young people with the necessary skills to participate effectively in the work force.

The introduction of traineeships will see some 10,000 early school leavers take up a structured training program in 1985-86, rising to some 75,000 by 1988-89. About 15 per cent of those traineeships will be made available to very disadvantaged young people, such as the long term unemployed and the disabled. The Government will also be providing additional incentives to employers to offer traineeships to those disadvantaged young people.

The Commonwealth is discussing with the State governments the possibility of providing additional pre-employment training for some disadvantaged young people to enable them to participate effectively in the traineeship system. If such courses are regarded as appropriate, transition allowances between the two sets of courses will be made available.

I also point out to Senator Giles that about 12,200 disadvantaged young people attending approved TAFE courses will be eligible to receive that transitional allowance. Two thousand additional places in trade-based employment courses will be funded also, including 500 earmarked for young women to improve their access to apprenticeships in non-traditional trades. Participants in these courses will be eligible for government allowances, depending on their individual circumstances.