Monday, 20 August 2018
Questions without Notice
I thank the honourable senator for his question. The policies of those of us on this side of the chamber, the Turnbull government, are getting people off welfare and into work. The labour force figures for July released last week show that the number of Australians in full-time work is at a record high. The economy has created, over the last 12 months, in excess of 300,000 jobs, two-thirds of which—that is, 200,000—are actually full-time jobs. The unemployment rate is now at 5.3 per cent, and that is the lowest since November 2012. And this of course is because of the policies that the Turnbull government has put in place that businesses—in particular, small and medium businesses—have been able to leverage off so they can prosper, grow and create more jobs.
But the policies of the Turnbull government are also getting our youth off welfare and into work, and we know that the best form of welfare is a job. The youth unemployment rate is now at 11.2 per cent. That is actually the lowest since April 2012, and it compares to 12.7 per cent when Labor left office—11.2 per cent now, 12.7 per cent when Labor left office. Whilst this is encouraging, we have always said that we need to put in place the right policies to create the jobs and give our youth the experience they need so that they can get a head start in life, get off welfare and get into work. That is why we heavily invested in excess of $800 million into our Youth Jobs PaTH program. This program is all about creating opportunities for young Australians to improve their work readiness, gain work experience, and move from a lifetime of welfare into work. (Time expired)
The Turnbull government recognises that giving our young people job opportunities and their first opportunity in the workforce can make a real, significant difference in their lives and the pathways that they may walk down. That is why we invested in excess of $800 million in our Youth Jobs PaTH program. It focuses on ensuring that our youth have the skills they need, giving them the opportunity to get a foot in the door and then ultimately move from welfare into a job. Like so many of us, I have had the privilege of meeting a young person by the name of John, who had been long-term unemployed and was hoping to find a job. The Eckersley Print Group in Queensland offered John an internship under the PaTH program. He demonstrated to the Eckersley group that he was incredibly capable. Following the completion of his internship, John was offered employment by the employer. That is a great outcome for both the employer and the young person, John. (Time expired)
Opposition senators interjecting—
It's Mr Shorten and the Labor Party that are clearly an impediment to young people getting off welfare into work, because of the policies that they have committed to, the $200 billion tax hit on businesses, workers and pensioners. It is a fact that these policies will devastate our economy, and if you devastate our economy, businesses are not able to prosper and grow. A business that is not able to prosper and grow is not able to employ Australians. Those on the other side don't seem to understand that a business that has to close employs no-one. That is why we on this side of the chamber will continue to put in place policies that enable our businesses to prosper and grow. We know that, when businesses prosper and grow, they are able to create jobs. Under the policies we have put in place since we were elected in September 2013 the economy has created now almost— (Time expired)