Senate debates

Monday, 13 February 2017


Social Security Legislation Amendment (Youth Jobs Path: Prepare, Trial, Hire) Bill 2016; Second Reading

9:07 pm

Photo of Bridget McKenzieBridget McKenzie (Victoria, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

There you go. Thank you for that interjection—I will take that interjection from the good minister. Not only do interns gain valuable experience, but they can also provide valuable support to employers or, in this case, the parliamentarians they serve. We have heard a lot about class warfare particularly from Senator Cameron earlier. It is a tired old argument by Labor. I don't know why it is okay for those who are in Young Labor and who are moving up in the world to get priority internships in ministers' or shadow ministers' offices in the Labor Party or are spokespeople with the Greens, but it is not okay for country kids to head down to their local manufacturer to get some decent work experience. It is not okay for other young Australians who are experiencing chronic unemployment in their regions to get the work experience that they need. It is okay for the political class if you are from the Left, but it is not okay for others across the economy.

I would call on both the Greens and Labor to support this innovative initiative by the government. I hope we are all troubled by the tragedy of youth unemployment in this country. We need our existing programs and we need to grow and develop our economy so that jobs are available locally. We also need to recognise that some young people in our communities need that additional support. This program goes to the heart of addressing that—what those young people need to go out there and secure job in what can be a very daunting scenario for them as they leave school. I commend the bill to the Senate.


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