House debates

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Constituency Statements


10:52 am

Photo of Luke HowarthLuke Howarth (Petrie, Liberal Party, Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services) Share this | | Hansard source

I'd like to take this opportunity to say how honoured I am to continue to serve the people of Petrie and the community that I grew up in in a place that I love. It's a great responsibility that's been placed on me by local people, and I'm thankful for that. I'm also thankful this year to be serving as the Assistant Minister for Youth and Employment Services throughout 2021. We really want to help Australia's youth and all people find work throughout 2021.

As a father of three boys, one of whom has just finished high school and entered the Australian Defence Force this year, I care for their futures as every good parent does. Do they have nice friends? Are they happy? Are they being cared for? Are they on the right path? And will they find a good secure job in the future?

One of our most important roles is to maintain a strong economy that fosters opportunity and optimism for business, creativity and entrepreneurship that will support our young and older Australians. Mueller College at Rothwell in my electorate of Petrie has an aviation school where the students learn how to fly planes. When I visited they were building the wing of an aircraft and learning how to use the actual tools of aircraft mechanics. When I visited the Grace Lutheran College students, they showed me their inventions of dropping a parachute on an egg out of the sky from a drone without breaking it into their hands. Our youth think big and think laterally, and it's awesome. In some of the other schools in my electorate that I've also recently visited like Aspley State High School and Clontarf Beach State School I've seen the same vision in students.

As Australia recovers from the global COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the skilled workforce has never been more important, especially in Deception Bay and Margate where I know our youth unemployment is higher. That's why the government's $74 billion JobMaker plan puts skills and jobs front and centre of our economic recovery and builds on the significant first steps we have already taken to reform our training system.

Of course, it's not just government; people employed in those suburbs of Deception Bay and Margate: get alongside people that are looking for work. If you know someone who's unemployed, talk to them and give them tips on how they can get a job and how they can connect with people. I have done that through my JobSeeker boot camp, from my own experience of running a business with 20 staff, where I bring the unemployed in, connect them with employers and give them great tips on how to stay in work. The Bracken Ridge and Redcliffe TAFE colleges and the Australian Trade College at Scarborough will directly benefit as well from the Morrison government's $7 billion investment to keep apprentices in jobs. All these opportunities will be rolled out in 2020-21. I look forward to working hard for the Australian people.