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Tuesday, 22 October 1974
Page: 1835

Senator CARRICK - My question is directed to the Minister representing the Minister for Labor and Immigration and it refers to the estimated 230,000 young people who in the weeks immediately ahead will be leaving schools, colleges and universities and seeking employment consistent with their talents and training. I ask: What specific steps is the Government taking to ensure that these young people enter the careers of their choice? Can the Government give an undertaking that the appropriate jobs will be available for these people? Alternatively, is the Government taking the defeatist attitude, expressed by some of its spokesmen, that unemployment, now rising at 1,000 sackings a day, will continue to accelerate in the months ahead? Finally, what alternatives to dole or relief-type measures does the Government propose to solve this grave problem?

Senator BISHOP - The question is a very general one and deals with the responsibilities of the Minister representing the Prime Minister and the Minister representing the Treasurer.

Senator Carrick - I do not mind if they answer it.

Senator BISHOP - Let me reply, senator. I will give you what information I can. The Minister for Labor has been quite honest in evaluating the employment trends.

Senator Carrick - Mr Egertondid not think so.

Senator BISHOP -Will you let me reply? You can ask another question afterwards. He said last year, in an honest way, that unemployment will grow. He has stated that in his opinion it will increase but that he does not support the figures which are now being speculated upon by a number of employer groups and other people. Last year he promoted a number of important schemes to remedy these tendencies. For example, he was the first to propose a scheme of supervision training, providing subsidies to employers to enable people to train to be better managers and to be more effective in regard to productivity. In addition he developed the National Training Scheme, which has been operating since 1 October and which is designed to do the sort of thing that Senator Carrick mentioned. This is the first time that we have ever had a manpower policy in Australia.

Recently the Minister developed and now chairs the meeting of the Regional Employment Development scheme, or the RED scheme, which is designed to deal with regional unemployment not really related to structural displacement. There are some other matters relating to general structural maladjustments upon which Senator Wriedt could more precisely report. In regard to the general employment queries I can only say that the measures which have been introduced by the Minister for Labor ought to be able to deal with the growing unemployment situation. The National Training Scheme should be able to divert young people from employment careers which would not be available at present to careers which might be available if some readjustment occurred. In those general answers I have outlined the remedies which the Government is trying to take. Perhaps Senator Wriedt can state whether anything new is under consideration- I am not sure of that position- by means of which the Government can avoid the growing unemployment situation which we know is developing in this country.

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