NA­TION Re­tail aid for young job­less

Townsville Bulletin - - NATION - LANAI SCARR

STRUG­GLING young job­seek­ers have won a help­ing hand from re­tail­ers who are of­fer­ing up to 10,000 in­tern­ships.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull and Em­ploy­ment Min­is­ter Michaelia Cash will to­day an­nounce the Aus­tralian Re­tail­ers As­so­ci­a­tion has agreed to help get jobs for up to 10,000 young Aus­tralians aged 15 to 24 years old who have been on wel­fare pay­ments for six months or more.

It will mean rather than pay­ing out at least $ 535.60 a fort­night in Cen­tre­link cheques to youths in this co­hort, they will be em­pow­ered into work to break the wel­fare cy­cle.

Young peo­ple will be trained up un­der the Fed­eral Govern­ment’s PaTH pro­gram for ca­reers in ma­jor re­tail­ers.

They will first un­dergo ed­u­ca­tional train­ing, be­fore get­ting ac­cess to a 12- week in­tern­ship with the end goal a per­ma­nent job.

Re­tail­ers like Bat­tery World, Cof­fee Club and BrightEyes have all signed on to the pro­gram and will start plac­ing in­terns over com­ing months.

The com­mit­ment is the sin­gle big­gest take up of the PaTH pro­gram which has made leaps and bounds since the train­ing and in­tern­ship el­e­ments kicked off in April.

Mr Turn­bull yes­ter­day told News Corp cre­at­ing jobs for Aus­tralians was his top pri­or­ity.

“To­day’s an­nounce­ment is great news for young job­seek­ers all over the coun­try, and reaf­firms our suc­cess­ful steps to get Aus­tralians into work,” Mr T u r n b u l l said.

E m - p l o y me n t M i n i s t e r Cash said the best form of w e l f a r e was a job. “Young peo­ple want to work, they want op­por­tu­ni­ties and PaTH helps them to achieve that. This pro­gram is great for the self- es­teem of young Aus­tralians, it builds con­fi­dence and ul­ti­mately there are ben­e­fits for the Aus­tralian econ­omy,” Se­na­tor Cash said.

Aus­tralian Re­tail­ers As­so­ci­a­tion chief ex­ec­u­tive Rus­sell Zim­mer­man said some of Aus­tralia’s most suc­cess­ful busi­ness peo­ple started out on the re­tail shop floor and un­der­priv­i­leged youths were now get­ting ac­cess to that same op­por­tu­nity.

“Our re­tail­ers are al­ready ma­jor em­ploy­ers of young peo­ple and these PaTH in­tern­ships will now pro­vide an­other way that em­ploy­ers can give young peo­ple a go so that they can de­velop their skills and ex­pe­ri­ence,” Mr Zim­mer­man said.

Since April there have al­ready been 4886 com­mence­ments in Em­ploy­a­bil­ity Skills Train­ing Cour­ses un­der the PaTH pro­gram.

A to­tal of 1235 unique in­tern­ship va­can­cies have been ad­ver­tised with 620 in­tern­ship place­ments com­menced.

Of those, close to 15 per cent have se­cured per­ma­nent jobs.

In Queens­land, 221 in­tern­ships have com­menced, with a to­tal of 350 va­can­cies ad­ver­tised.

Turn­bull.

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