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Link between homelessness and unemployment highlighted.

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The Hon Brendan O'Connor

Minister for Employment Participation 07 August, 2008

Media Release

Link between homelessness and unemployment highlighted

The Minister for Employment Participation, Brendan O’Connor, said the Government’s new employment

services will help job seekers address significant barriers to employment including homelessness.

Taking part in a panel discussion as part of the annual Melbourne Citymission Homelessness Breakfast, Mr

O’Connor said employment was a crucial pathway out of homelessness.

"The Rudd Government has identified homelessness as a key priority to address," Mr O’Connor said.

"Each year 40,000 18 to 35 year olds become homeless and unemployed. Most are early school leavers, who

without help, will struggle to hold down permanent housing.

"We also know that many people living on the streets are often dealing with physical and mental health issues

that require a high level of personal support.

"Linking homeless Australians with education, training or work opportunities is a major factor in overcoming

the cycle of disadvantage experienced on a daily basis by people who face life on the streets or moving from

one temporary accommodation to another."

Mr O’Connor said the Government’s new employment services would focus on providing assistance to

disadvantaged job seekers and help them address barriers to employment.

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He said the further work will be undertaken on social outcomes for homeless job seekers as part of the Rudd

Government’s Homelessness White Paper due to be released in September.

The Government has also committed $880 million for an extra 238,000 training places for job seekers under

the Productivity Places program.

"To reduce homelessness we need to increase the economic opportunities for homeless people or those at risk

of becoming homeless, to gain financial independence as well as participate in their community.

"Getting a job is a significant step towards securing permanent housing."

The Government last week released the Exposure Draft of a Request for Tender for Employment Services to

come into effect in July 2009.

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