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Competitiveness Agenda tackles youth unemployment

15 October 2014

A key plank of the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda - pilot programmes to tackle youth unemployment in regional Australia - is a step closer to getting underway with the release of a discussion paper today.

Businesses, training providers, community organisations and other groups are being encouraged to provide input on the implementation of the Training for Employment Scholarships and the Youth Employment Pathways.

The Government is introducing a series of reforms to the skills and training system to ensure Australians are job-ready with the skills businesses need.

Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane said the two pilot programmes, which together comprise a $44 million investment from the Government, represent a new way of addressing youth unemployment and delivering skilled employees to regional businesses.

“These initiatives will have a positive impact not only on the people living in regional Australia, particularly in a time of high youth unemployment, but also on their towns and communities,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“The discussion paper sets out a range of proposed design options for these innovative pilot programmes.

“The Australian Government wants to hear from key stakeholders to ensure we get the best result possible as we work together to tackle regional youth unemployment.”

 The Training for Employment Scholarships will offer 7,500 scholarships and assist small to medium size employers in regional areas access job specific training for their new starters.

The Youth Employment Pathways will offer 3,000 places to assist disengaged youth to get back into school, move into the workforce or start vocational education.

Consultations close on 14 November 2014 and the two pilots start on 1 March 2015.

The discussion paper is available at vetreform.industry.gov.au.

Media contact: Mr Macfarlane’s office 02 6277 7070