A re-elected Victorian Coalition Government will implement a strategy that tackles youth unemployment and gives Victoria’s young people the best chance of getting a job, Premier Denis Napthine announced today.
From April next year, the Youth Employment Strategy will support young Victorians aged 15 to 24 years, who have been unemployed for more than six months and are not enrolled in full time education or training, with the right skills and experience to gain a rewarding and meaningful job.
Highlights of the Youth Employment Strategy include:
- vouchers of $2,000 each to assist small businesses with recruitment and start-up costs;
- WorkCover premium rebates to any business that employs an eligible young Victorian for 12 months; and
- payroll tax exclusion for eligible new employees for up to 12 months.
Dr Napthine said that many young Victorians need extra support to gain employment experience.
“What young Victorians have been telling me is that they have been rejected from a job because they don’t have any experience, yet the job they are seeking would give them the experience they so desperately want,” Dr Napthine said.
“This comprehensive Youth Employment Strategy will make it more attractive for employers to give young Victorians the experience they need to go onto bigger and better things.”
Vouchers to assist small business with start-up costs
Dr Napthine announced that the Coalition will invest $40 million for up to 10,000 eligible participants per year to receive a $2,000 voucher. This voucher will be redeemed by any small business upon employing the eligible participant and will assist in covering start-up costs.
The voucher will include an upfront payment to the employer of $400, with the balance redeemed on a pro-rata basis, and fully redeemable when the participant is employed for six months.
“We understand that small businesses in particular bear a significant cost when employing additional staff,” Dr Napthine said.
“These vouchers will not only assist these businesses with costs associated with staff training, inductions and uniforms, but give young Victorians the boost they need to improve their opportunities when looking for a job.”
The participant may be employed on a full-time, part-time or casual basis for a minimum average of 15 hours per week. The vouchers will be available from April 2015 for two years.
Dr Napthine also announced that the Coalition will invest $12.4 million to enable businesses that employ an eligible participant for 12 months to have a full WorkCover rebate premium for one year. This will deliver an average saving of $455 per eligible employee to each business.
“The Coalition Government’s sound financial management has delivered low WorkCover premiums compared with other states and territories. But we can always do more,” Dr Napthine said.
“This rebate will lower the cost of doing business in Victoria even further and significantly boost the job prospects of young Victorians into the future.”
Payroll Tax exclusion
The Coalition Government will invest $22.8 million for each eligible participant to be excluded from payroll tax calculations for up to 12 months.
Dr Napthine said that businesses will save an average of $1,736 per employee as a result of this initiative.
“This is about reducing business costs and giving young Victorians the help they need to get out of the Centrelink queue and into a job,” Dr Napthine said.
Building on our record
The Youth Employment Strategy builds on the Coalition Government’s record in providing unprecedented support for young people who are preparing for and starting in the workforce for the first time.
- $1.2 billion a year for skills training subsidies by the Coalition Government – a 50 per cent increase on Labor’s last budget in 2010-11. A further $5.2 billion for Victoria’s training system has been committed over four years by the Coalition Government.
The Future Skills package to provide young people with the skills for future jobs
- $41.9 million to fund future skills developed by TAFE institutes across Victoria, including $21.9 million for the Chisholm Institute’s Frankston Campus to build a new Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Trades to skill the next generation of leaders and managers in advanced manufacturing; and
- $20 million for Victorian TAFEs to innovate and better meet changing industry, student and employer demand.
Modernising TAFEs (through $200 million TAFE Structural Adjustment Fund)
- $64 million for the newly formed Bendigo Kangan Institute including a new Centre for Health and Human Services;
- more than $40 million for Federation Training in Gippsland; and
- $22.7 million investment in next generation blended learning.
Employment Start Up for Business
- $7.5 million to provide jobs for young unemployed Victorians aged 15 to 25 years old in small to medium businesses where a skills shortage exists;
- investment will help at least 1,750 unemployed young Victorians to find a job; and
- $4,000 grant to employing businesses – $1,000 when a young person is hired into a full-time role for at least 30 hours per week, and a further $3,000 after the employee has been employed for 16 weeks and is enrolled in accredited training.
$12 million Your Future, Your Choice initiative
- $9 million initiative over four years that will assist year 9 and year 10 students at risk of disengagement in schools across Victoria, gain hands on experience in vocational training. Students will attend a partner TAFE campus or training provider throughout a school term to gain exposure to future career and training options; and
- $3 million for a new phone line and website to provide support and career advice for adults, youth, parents and employers. This service will include expert advice, career direction and referral services to better inform decisions regarding employment and training.