Young Australians need targeted support for Jobs, not useless Boot Camps

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Media Release – 30 July 2013

The peak voice for young Australians today has written to the federal ministers behind the leaked “Youth Start Boot Camp” proposal, to caution against ineffective boot camp models and call for a better approach to job services and training.

Acting Executive Director of the Australian Youth Affairs Coalition (AYAC), Reynato Reodica said, “It is fantastic that Ministers Ellis and Shorten have acknowledged youth unemployment as ‘a growing problem that we need to address’ but they have completely missed the mark with this proposal to fund useless boot camps”

The ministers’ proposal would see $70 million over four years reallocated from Jobs Services Australia to target early school leavers aged 15 – 21 years. AYAC would welcome targeting this funding for programs specifically designed for young job seekers, if the government would focus less on trying to look tough and army-like and more on things that will work in the long term.

Mr Reodica said, “We’ve spoken to too many young Australians who have fallen through the cracks in a jobs services system that is poorly designed and unable to address the challenges they face in their daily lives”

“The $70 million in funding needs to focus on dealing with what’s happening at home and in their communities head on, not taking unemployed young people into an artificial jungle camp environment”

AYAC are also calling for the federal government to get real about addressing the rising youth unemployment rates and implement a Jobs Guarantee.

Deputy Director (Young People) at AYAC, Joshua Genner said, “The government should partner with the business sector and community sector and provide incentives to employ and train young people, as well as stepping up as an employer themselves”

“If we hope to see young people walk paths to opportunity and responsibility, then we need to make sure those paths are there for every young Australian.  At the moment they aren’t.”

One in four Australians, 15 – 25 are not engaged in full time education or employment and the most recent unemployment figures show youth unemployment is more than 4 times the national average.

“We risk losing bright and capable young Australia to long-term unemployment and lives caught in the welfare system” Mr Genner said.

Media contact:
Reynato Reodica, AYAC Acting Executive Director – 02 9212 0500

Additional information:

  • Job Services Australia providers only receive enough funding to interview long term unemployed people once every 2 months, plus $500 to invest in training and work experience. JSAs are not funded to offer career counselling to those who need it and training and support is not matched to the needs of young people.
  • Proposals for a Jobs Guarantee are set out in more detail by economist Professor Bill Mitchell, of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity at Charles Darwin University.
    More information can be found on the Centre’s website: