Coalition 'targets' youth unemployment

October 23, 1996

By Marina Cameron

Against a background of rising unemployment rates, the Howard government announced a new $5.9 million labour market program for young people on October 7. The Jobs Pathway Program will begin in 1997, with public and private employment agencies competing for government funds to find jobs for school leavers.

Launching the program, the minister responsible, David Kemp, said that it "will provide thousands of school leavers with real opportunities to secure full-time employment and build a rewarding career".

Having just cut almost all labour market programs for young people in the budget, this is a cynical exercise by the Coalition. TAFE colleges in NSW estimate that the Coalition's cuts to labour market programs will result in the loss of more than 40,000 TAFE student places. Cuts to higher education will halve the number of post-graduate places available at some universities, and increased student fees have already caused a significant drop in the number of school-leavers applying to go to university next year.

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