Carrots and sticks for unemployed youth

A MARYBOROUGH training and life coaching organisation has welcomed the government's tough stance on unemployed youth.

Maria Smith, chief executive of Bounce Consulting.

Maria Smith, chief executive of Bounce Consulting.

Bounce Consulting chief executive Maria Smith said the carrot-and-sticks measures the government was introducing were good ideas.

"A tougher stance could have effects," she said. 

"We need to create more leverage for people in whatever they do." 

But she stressed that if the government was going to take something away from people they had to then provide them with other forms of assistance, such as helping them find jobs.

The government recently announced that it would make young people wait until they turned 25 before they could receive the Newstart unemployment benefit, an increase from the current age of 22.

At present, unemployed youths are eligible for a $414 fortnightly Youth Allowance payment if they live out of home, but when they turn 22 they can switch to the higher paying Newstart allowance of $510 a fortnight.

Under the new measures youths would have to stay on Youth Allowance until they turn 25.

But the Coalition will also offer young people a "job commitment bonus" if they keep their jobs.

If a long-term unemployed youth stays in a job for 12 months they will receive a government payment of $2500 and a bonus of $4000 if they stay in their job for 24 months.

The Coalition will also pay as much as $6000 to long-term unemployed people if they move to a regional area for a job, or $3000 if they move to a city.

Ms Smith said the bonus payment was a good idea because, "We're better off rewarding the behaviour we want."

She said it was often very challenging for young people who had been out of work and study for long periods to transition into the workforce and that providing a monetary reward would encourage their efforts.

"I think you're dealing with people who don't have the job readiness employment skills," she said.

"For them, they're learning more.

"It's encouraging people to raise their standards."

The Australian Bureau of Statistics reveals that youth unemployment is 12.5 per cent nationally and the the Brotherhood of St Laurence recently reported that the rate in Bendigo was 13.3 per cent.

Ms Smith said the current employment methods weren't working and changes were needed.

"Let's change things up and see if they're a good idea," she said.

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