MYAN welcomes youth employment and mental health support but will it be enough?
This Budget provides some important recognition that young people will bear the brunt of the recession but we are concerned that it will not reach those who need it most and provide critical long term support.
MYAN welcomes the investment in youth employment, mental health and social cohesion as we know that these are priority concerns for the young people we work with:
- Youth employment – 450,000 new jobs for young people through the Job Maker Credit Scheme, $263.0 million over four years to continue to improve the quality of the Vocational Education and Training, which includes apprenticeship and training support, $21.9 million over four years to quickly connect young people (aged 15—24) to specialist youth assistance delivered through the Transition to Work service.
- Youth mental health – $45.7 million to expand a program that helps young people with a mental illness participate in the workforce, $7 million to Beyond Blue, Lifeline and Kids Helpline to meet increased demand for crisis support and $5 million to Headspace to increase outreach services to young people
- Settlement services – Extending the Youth Transition Support and Youth Hubs with $12.7 million over two years and reforms to the AMEP and Community Support Program
- Education – Funding increased to $21.8 billion in 2020, with a commitment of $310 billion in total recurrent funding from 2020 to 2030 and an additional $146 million to improve educational outcomes, particularly for disadvantaged students.
- Social cohesion – $17.7 million over four years to enhance engagement with multicultural communities
- $35 million for the Safer Communities Fund, with a focus on early intervention youth engagement programs.
“The wage subsidy for employers who take on young people is welcomed as a necessary step to address the enormous economic impact of COVID-19 on young people but we are concerned the amount and duration will limit its impact on youth unemployment into the future,” said MYAN Chair, Carmel Guerra.
“We are also concerned these investments will not reach young people who face systemic disadvantage, including those from refugee and migrant backgrounds,” says Nadine Liddy, MYAN National Manager.
MYAN calls on the Federal Government to ensure the education, youth employment and mental health initiatives have targeted approaches to ensure inclusion of young people from refugee and migrant backgrounds.
We are also concerned about the implications for a reduced quota of 13,750 places in Australia’s Humanitarian Program, the minimal response to supporting international students living in Australia and that the investment into social cohesion measures did not include a National Anti-Racism Strategy.