Constituency Question: Youth Employment
Ms SPENCE (Yuroke) (12:41:45) — (14 168) My constituency question is to the Minister for Industry and Employment. What information can the minister provide about access to employment for young people in the Yuroke electorate? Recently the Yuroke Youth Advisory Council held their first meeting for 2018. Every year that council chooses a topic to focus their attention on, and this year they will focus on youth employment. Employment is a top priority for people of all ages in the Yuroke electorate, and members of the advisory council are keen to learn everything from resume writing skills in order to secure their first part-time job to choosing a long-term career path. It would be helpful to the work of the council if the minister could please provide information on initiatives or support that is available to ensure that young Victorians can secure employment, and I look forward to hearing from him.
I thank the member for her question and am pleased to hear of the work of the Yuroke Youth Advisory Council and that it has chosen to focus on the issue of youth employment in 2018.
Placing job seekers into work is a key Victorian Government priority and we have made considerable progress in delivering employment opportunities for Victorians. As at April 2018, the Victorian unemployment rate had fallen to 5.2 per cent, down from 6.4 per cent in November 2014. Over the same period, the youth unemployment rate also decreased by 1.4 per cent. Despite these positive developments the Government understands that more needs to be done to support young people into employment.
The Victorian Government has committed $90 million to establish Jobs Victoria to ensure that all Victorians have the opportunity to benefit from the strong employment growth in the State. Under the Jobs Victoria Employment Network, the flagship initiative of Jobs Victoria, 51 localised employment services have been established to provide individualised support to jobseekers. This includes resume writing, interview preparation, job-matching and post-placement support.
Young jobseekers are a particular target group for Jobs Victoria services. As part of the Jobs Victoria Employment Network, $6.7 million has been allocated to five specialist youth services, with another 29 multi-target services also providing employment support to young jobseekers. As at 6 April 2018, over 3,000 jobseekers aged between 15-24 had registered with Jobs Victoria services, with more than 1,100 of these placed into employment across Victoria.
I am particularly pleased to inform the member and the Yuroke Youth Advisory Council that jobseekers located in Yuroke are able to access support from at least 15 Jobs Victoria services that operate in the Northern Metropolitan Area and Loddon Campaspe region. Eleven of these services offer targeted support for young jobseekers. Information about these services is available at www.jobs.vic.gov.au.
The Victorian Government is also focused on increasing apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities through initiatives such as the Major Projects Skills Guarantee (MPSG). The MPSG requires contractors for publicly-funded infrastructure projects over the value of $20 million to utilise apprentices, trainees and engineering cadets for at least 10 per cent of the project’s working hours. The MPSG is currently being applied to over 100 planned projects across Victoria and has already created over 3,500 work opportunities for young Victorians. Nineteen of these projects are located within Yuroke and its neighbouring regions, creating numerous vocational work opportunities for young people in the area.
The Victorian Government is also leading by example in delivering the Youth Employment Scheme (YES). This scheme offers 280 traineeships per annum to young Victorians aged 15-24 in the Victorian Public Sector. As an extension to the YES program, the Jobs Victoria Youth Cadetship Scheme will provide 135 YES graduates with a further three years of valuable experience and a stronger pathway to a career in the Victorian Public Sector.
The Hon Ben Carroll MP
Minister for Industry and Employment